Haiti's history is rich, interesting, yet turbulen t. First independent Black republic since 1804, Haiti became a safe haven for runaway slaves from other parts of the Americas. Haiti assisted many Latin American countries in their quest for independence, including Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia. See some links below for more history in English.
There is freedom of religion in Haiti. Statistics vary, though. Like in many other "Christian" countries, nominal Christians are in majority. Most sources, including Operation World book/website Operationworld.com, which publishes global religious statistics, say Christians comprise about 90% of the population:
- Catholics: ~60% (~6m) &
- Protestants ~30%: Baptists~520K; Seventh Day Adventists~400K; Pentecostals/Church of God ~340K; Nazarenes ~ 260K, Episcopals ~180K (~100 churches), Methodists/Wesleyans ~70K, Lutherans ~20K (200 churches), Church of Christ ~15K, Mennonites, Salvation Army.
- Professed Non-Christians: ~ 10%.
Other stats estimate that Evangelical/born-again Christians actually comprise 30-40%. Even this percentage seems overestimated. However, since God knows the human heart, he only knows who are saved or not and when they become born-again. Many nominal Christians still dabble in idolatry, synchretism, mainly voodooism and other animistic practices. This means there's a lot more evangelism to be done to reach hearts for Jesus-Christ.
Below are some stats on evangelical Haitian diaspora churches in USA and Canada.
History of Christianity in Haiti:
Christianity was brought to Haiti by the Spanish colonists since the early 1500's. Later on, the French established several missions in Haiti with heavy emphasis on education. They established some very good schools in the country, including College Notre Dame of Cap Haitien, St. Louis de Gonzague, Petit Seminaire College St. Martial, Sisters of Bourdon, and etc. Some of the best minds Haiti has produced received Catholic education. Roman Catholic Church obtained official status in Haiti with the signing of the 1860 Concordat, which provided the church special status and protection of the government.
The Episcopal church was introduced in Haiti in 1861 by a group of 110 African-Americans immigrants to Haiti. They established many churches and good schools, including the famous St. Vincent School, for many years, the only school for special aid children in Haiti, College St. Pierre, Episcopal University & the Holy Trinity School, which has been the premiere school of music in Haiti.
Protestant missionary groups have been in Haiti since the early 1800s. They also put emphasis on education and built some top schools, including Adventist University & Academy, College Bird, College Canado-Haitien, and etc. The first protestants missions were Methodists (1807), Episcopalians (1861) and Baptists with the largest growth. The adventists arrived later on in 1879, Assemblies of God (1945), Nazarean Church (1948), Salvation Army (1950), Pentecostal church (1962), Mennonite Church (1966) and Church of God (1969). The first Lutheran church in Haiti was founded in 1980. Protestantism has a great appeal to the lower masses, for many reasons, including use of Creole in services; many translated hymns address the people's dire economic and social conditions; more open participation in services through testimonies; and attaining of leadership positions among others.
Some links about history of Christianity in Haiti:
History of Pierre Toussaint ("founder of Catholic charitable works in the US, Haiti-USA.org)
CHRONOLOGY OF PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN HAITI
OTHER CHRISTIAN MISSIONS (DATE UNKNOWN)