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Reject demonic practices of Garifuna religion

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Editor: The last few weeks have been filled with discussions surrounding issues related to the recent Garifuna visitors to our shores. The visitors came to “reconnect” with the local community and with their dead ancestors. They also had political goals and lodged themselves within the bosom of the NDP.{{more}}

While I personally question many things in regard to the visit and arrogant statements made by Professor Wellington Ramos, I only wish to address a single issue in this opinion piece. This issue relates to the infusion of raw spiritualism in the expressions and behaviours of our Garifuna visitors to our shores.

In last week’s SEARCHLIGHT newspaper, there is a report of one of the Garifuna delegates, Joseph Guerrero, being instructed to take Vincentian soil to be cleansed by Buyei. The article quotes him as saying that a “bunch of Buyeis” will come here next year and “cleanse this place.” This, he thinks is necessary since the souls of the Garifuna ancestors are not resting. To get them to rest, a “medium between our ancestors and us” must cleanse the land.

In a separate report in the SEARCHLIGHT newspaper, Mr Ramos claimed to have prayed to his dead ancestors, from whom he received instructions which he pledged to obey. This quickly reminded me of a Biblical account which ended in death and destruction.

It is the story of King Saul, as recorded in 1 Samuel 28. Saul was at this point in desperation. God refused to answer him as he requested guidance for the looming battle against the Philistines. He then, under darkness of night, disguised himself and approached a witch in Endor. The prophet Samuel was dead and Saul wanted to communicate with this dead prophet through a necromancer. He made connection, not with Samuel, but with demons who reminded him of his disobedience and prophesied his doom. 1 Chronicles 10: 13, 14 says:

“So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.”

What Mr Ramos did was to consult familiar spirits. No ancestor answered him. He may have been instructed, but not by his dead ancestors. In their state, there is no consciousness. Concerning the dead, Psalm 146: 4 states that “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Ecclesiastes 9: 6 tells us that “their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they anymore a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” The Garifuna ancestors have no awareness or consciousness whatsoever in the state of death. They cannot answer Mr Ramos or anyone else. They cannot feel pain in their present dead state.

We are warned not to have regard for people who practise necromancy, since it is an abomination that defiles and does not cleanse. “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31. Never exalt any Buyei as a cleanser of any soil, since their work is to defile, using demonic forces. They are not cleansers, but defilers practising abominable acts which God Himself rejects (Deuteronomy 18: 9- 12).

Our greatest need is to have Jesus Christ in our hearts. It is the sinful mind that is the source of all problems in this country, and Christ promises cleansing to those who confess and repent of their sins (1 John 1: 9). I urge you to take your heart to Christ for cleansing from sin. Pray to Almighty Yahweh for help and reject the influence of demons and their promoters. They will have their “part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” if they don’t turn away from these practices (Revelations 21:8).

Shefflorn Ballantyne

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