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BAPTISTS MARK Liberation Day
« on: March 28, 2014, 11:00:44 AM »
BAPTISTS MARK Liberation Day
By SEETA PERSAD Friday, March 28 2014 (T&T Newsday)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9VzIn4eQZEE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9VzIn4eQZEE</a>

The National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organization of TT (NCIBO) will host Spiritual/Shouter Baptist Liberation Day celebrations on Sunday (March 30) at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah.

The religious event will begin at 9 am and continue throughout the day. This year the theme is “The Spiritual Baptist Faith is still Alive.”

Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, Rodger Samuel is expected to address the followers of the Baptist faith. General secretary of the NCIBO, Mother Superior Angela Yearwood and co-ordinator Bishop Roger Lewis will oversee the function.

The other churches that will be marking this holiday include Garazin Shouter and Baptist Church Ltd of Sangre Grande, Baptist Church Centre in Princes Town, Beth’aleel Fundamental Baptist Church in San Fernando, Bon Air Full Gospel Baptist Church in Mausica, D!ckson’s Memorial Baptist Church in San Fernando, First Baptist Church in San Fernando, Monte Grande Baptist Church in St Augustine, Mount Hope Spiritual Baptist Church in Port of Spain, Mt Pisgah Spiritual Baptist Church in Santa Rosa. Baptists and the wider community on Sunday celebrate the collective right of the people to freely worship in the religion of their choice, and specifically the struggle and eventual victory of the Spiritual and Shouter Baptist community to secure that right for themselves.

It was in 1996 that the Government granted a public holiday, called Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day, in commemoration of the repeal of the prohibition act, which had prevented Spiritual and Shouter Baptists from openly practicing their religion. Trinidad and Tobago remains the only country globally that celebrates a public holiday for those following the Spiritual Baptist faith.

As scores of the faithful congregate across the country to observe their special day, they will be dressed in their distinctive garb singing and chanting accompanied by drums and vigorous hand clapping.

The initial freedom of the Spiritual Baptists to worship had been the result of a long struggle by the leader of the June 19, 1937 Social Revolution, Tubal Uriah Butler, himself a Spiritual Baptist preacher, and Albert Gomes, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s first Government Ministers. Many Trinidadians and Tobagonians of today’s generation may have difficulty in understanding why the Spiritual Baptists could have been persecuted merely for worshipping God.

Regrettably, this was the bitter reality. Because of the harassment and an understandable fear of being arrested and charged, Spiritual Baptists, particularly those in rural areas would often hold their services in places removed from established communities, sometimes even in forested areas.

But the anti Spiritual Baptist hostility persisted. In addition, it was not only the police who would interrupt the religious services of the Spiritual Baptists, but pranksters as well posing as police officers.

These cynical pranksters would sneak up on the churches and shout “Police”, and when the congregation and the Ministers ran off to avoid being charged, would seize the collection and any valuables left behind.

Many of today’s Baptists are highly respected, not only among their own, but in the wider community.
De higher a monkey climbs is de less his ass is on de line, if he works for FIFA that is! ;-)