Haiti’s bicentennial marred by uncertainty and violence.

By January 1, 2004

Haiti (MNN)–After 200 years of independence, Haiti is tormented by extreme poverty, popular dissatisfaction with the president and a mounting death toll from political violence.

The unemployment rate is over 70 percent, the average income less than $1 a day and the average life expectancy 50 years.

Published reports indicate many Haitians believe the only way to show their dissatisfaction is to protest at a time when their voice will be heard.

The country marked its bicentennial independence after having overthrown Napoleon’s troops. That victory led to independence for Haiti. However, events leading up to freedom from one kind of slavery led to enslavement in voodoo on the island nation.

That leads Evangelist Sammy Tippit to believe the situation may get more intense for believers in the days ahead. “I think the closer you see them get to this anniversary time in January, the more clashes you’re going to see because this is a strategic moment in the history of the country. It’s a time, really, of remembering where they’ve come from, and so there’s probably a lot of political action taking place. In the midst of that, Christians want to say, ‘Hey, we want to give our country to the Lord.'”

Tippit says they laid the groundwork in the fall for a ministry support project. “We are partnering with the Center for Evangelism and Leadership Training there, and we are hoping to have all of our leadership training material and resources translated into Creole and into French as well, to help raise up a new generation of leaders. We would ask people to be praying for us in that.”

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