PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar hailed the men and women of the Spiritual Shouter Baptist community as heroes whose great deeds and accomplishments can inspire the people of this country.
In her Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day Message to the nation, the Prime Minister said: “
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.”
Describing the Spiritual Shouter Baptists as one such group of persons, Persad-Bissessar said: “
For 34 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.”
Observing that “throughout these years of struggle they never abandoned their faith, she stated: “
Our Shouter Baptist sisters and brothers demonstrated a steadfastness and strength of mind and spirit that must be admired.” Persad-Bissessar said the victory of the Spiritual Shouter Baptists
“has become our shared triumph as a multi-cultural nation and a reminder that freedom to worship as one chooses must never be taken for granted.”
“As citizens of TT, 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,” she declared. Speaking on March 13 in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister said Government is actively considering a request from the Spiritual Shouter Baptists for a parcel of land to build a secondary school on. Persad-Bissessar has publicly stated on many occasions that she was proud to be baptised as a Baptist.
Also bringing greetings was Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley who said: “There is no room for discrimination of any sort in our blessed twin island state. We must recognise the contributions of all our law abiding citizens, including the Shouter and Spiritual Baptists to our development thus far and their role in the future.”
“As a cosmopolitan nation, TT is blessed with people of varied races, religious and cultural backgrounds. As such, it is imperative that we all work towards a society where all are afforded equal rights and opportunities and where we could proudly sing that ‘every creed and race find an equal place’ ,” he declared.