The earth quake catastrophe in Haiti immediately brings to mind the question: who is responsible for this terrible disaster, suffering and death? Is it God or something else? God, as the King of the universe, is usually regarded as the One who sends calamities and blessings. So, let us consider what the possible cause was:
Voodoo is the one religion very strongly represented in Haiti. Though there are Christian and Catholic influences, by far the strongest influence is that of voodoo. What does voodoo represent? Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide became president of Haiti, as the first democratically elected president. Things looked bright for Haiti, a very poor country. Jim Shahin reported: 'Haiti seems like a different place.' Human rights violations were down. Aristide got a pledge of $500 million for projects. Even one of his political opponents called him, 'our messiah of hope.' Then he made a serious mistake. Though he was a Catholic priest, on August 14, 1991, he officially requested that Haiti's top voodoo witch doctors lead a national observance of the voodoo ceremony of Boukman to rededicate the nation of Haiti to the spirits of the dead. A little more than one month later, on September 29, 1991, Aristide was ousted by a military coup. An international embargo was imposed. The normal economy became virtually nonexistent. Haiti took a socioeconomic nosedive. Port-au-Prince, a bustling city in normal times, often seemed like a dusty ghost town. Public services were suspended because of a lack of gasoline and garbage was piled high on the streets. Many foreign investors gave up on Hiati. The nation reached the lowest point on the human misery scale (1).
To try to answer the question, who is responsible: From what happened, we understand that Aristide and his advisers decided to rededicate the country to the spirits of the dead. So death is what Haiti is reaping. Could God have intervened? How could He, if the country decided to make a covenant with the spirits of the dead? God allows each person and nation its own free will decisions.
Peter Wagner gives another interesting example: In Japan, Shinto is the official religion and, in the popular mind, the emperor is also a deity. The emperor denied his status of a deity, and the government, as part of the peace process after World War 2, agreed to separate itself officially from any religious institution, including Shintoism. When the emperor died, after almost 30 years, his son became the new emperor. The crucial question was whether he would take part in the Daijosi ceremony through which he would be 'deified.' The climax of the ceremony would be a sexual encounter between the emperor and the sun-goddess, Amaterasu Omikame (it would be either spiritual or physical, which doesn't make any difference, as the invisible evil spirits make use of the slightest invitation). They did it, and what happened was that Japan went into its steepest economic decline since the war (2).
People think catastrophes just happen. They disregard invisible evil influences, while the Bible is very clear that there are destructive forces at work in the world. Choosing to ally oneself with the devil and his demons instead of with God will often have destructive consequences. It would be interesting to know if President Robert Mugabe also made some kind of pact with the occult, since Zimbabwe is being destroyed so systematically.
- P Wagner(ed), Breaking Strongholds in Your City, Regal Books, 1993, p 66-68
- Ibid, p 68- 69