Saturday, March 30, 2013

PM Kamla's message on Spiritual Baptist Shouter Liberation Day

On behalf of the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, I extend warm greetings to the Spiritual Baptist Shouter Community, as our Nation commemorates Spiritual Baptist Shouter Liberation Day. 
In our daily lives we often we look for heroes, for men and women who can inspire us with their great deeds and sterling accomplishments. We speak highly of them and the honour which they bring to family, community and country. They may be individuals, but often they are groups or persons united around a common cause. 

Our Shouter Baptist sisters and brothers are one such group of heroic persons. For thirty-four years, from the enactment of the Shouters Prohibition Ordinance in 1917 to its repeal in 1951, the men and women of the Spiritual Baptist Shouter Faith experienced brutality, humiliation and discrimination in their enduring struggle for self-realization and acceptance.

Yet throughout these years of struggle they never abandoned their faith. Branded heathen and barbaric, persecuted by the authorities and forced to worship in secret; our Shouter Baptist sisters and brothers demonstrated a steadfastness and strength of mind and spirit that must be admired.

Their fight for legitimacy and equality is now part of our history. Their victory has become our shared triumph as a multicultural Nation and a reminder that freedom to worship as one chooses must never be taken for granted.
In 1996 further status and recognition was given to Spiritual Shouter Baptist community by the granting of a national holiday on March 30th, to commemorate the anniversary of the repeal of the oppressive Shouters Prohibition Ordinance. 

As citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, we can take pride in the knowledge that in the face of persecution, we have another community who stood firm and has managed to evolve adding to the diversity of our country. 
The passionate expression of your Faith is indelibly etched in the hearts and minds of all citizens, as we acknowledge your contribution to the music and literature of our country. 

In solidarity with our Shouter Baptists brothers and sisters, today we clap, sing, dance and make a joyous noise in praise and thanksgiving for all that we are, all that we have achieved and all that we are yet to become as citizens of vibrant, talented and culturally diverse Nation.

May God continue to bless us all and may God Bless our great Nation. 

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai