Protestantism in Haiti:
Haiti saw the introduction of Christianity when Europeans arrived to colonize the island. It was first introduced by the Spanish, later followed by French colonialists. The primary brand of Christianity was Catholicism. In recent years, some Protestant denominations have made an increased number of converts in Haiti, continuing early work done by a small number of Protestant missions since the independence of the island.
The island of Haiti was first colonized by the Spanish, who later abandoned the island’s western portion. That region came under French influence after 1630, and was formally recognized as the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1697. Under French rule, Roman Catholicism was the sole legal religion, though African slaves frequently practiced vodou. Slaves revolted in 1791 and managed to achieve independence in 1804. Three years later Protestant missionary activity begun.
Protestant churches and sects have frequently attempted to so-ordinate their activities through organizations like the Council Churches in Haiti and the Protestant Federation.
The Roman Catholic Church later participated in the Ecumenical Research group of 1968. The practice of vodou is strong in Haiti and some vodou practitioners advocate being included in any ecumenical gatherings.
Protestants in Haiti are a significant minority of the population. The 2015 CIA Factbook reports that around 16% of the population is Protestant (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%). Other sources put the Protestant population higher than this, suggesting that it may form one-third of the population in 2001. Protestant churches have experienced significant growth in recent decades.
Protestant churches of significant size include the Assemblées de Dieu, the Convention Baptiste d’Haïti, the Seventh-day Adventists, the Church of God (Cleveland), the Church of the Nazarene and the Mission Evangelique Baptiste du Sud-Haiti.
Whereas a very small amount of Catholic Haitians combine their faith with aspects of Vodou, this practice is much more rare among Haitian Protestants, whose churches tend to strongly denounce Vodou as diabolical.
The Episcopal Diocese
The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is the Anglican Communion diocese consisting of the entire territory of Haiti. It is part of Province 2 of the Episcopal Church (United States). Its cathedral, Holy Trinity (French: Cathédrale Sainte Trinité) located in the corner of Avenue Mgr. Guilloux and Rue Pavée in downtown Port-au-Prince, has been destroyed six times, including in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It is the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church (United States), with 83,698 members reported in 2008.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Missionary work in Haiti by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began in May 1980 and the land was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel by Thomas S. Monson, then a member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, on 17 April 1983.As of 2015, the church reports having 44 congregations and more than 20,400 members in Haiti. In September 2012, the third and fourth Haitian stakes were created. All four stakes are based in the capital region; districts are based in Les Cayes, St-Marc, and Gonaïves.
At the church’s April 2009 General Conference, Fouchard Pierre-Nau, a native of Jérémie, was called as an area seventy in the church’s Fourth Quorum of the Seventy, the most prominent church position ever held by a Haitian.
During the April 2015 General Conference, Monson—now serving as the church’s president—announced the church’s intention to build a temple in Port-au-Prince.