PRESIDENT Christine Kangaloo said Spiritual Baptists showed their strength and commitment to their God after they rose above injustice and the barriers of the Shouters Prohibition Ordinance.
In her message commemorating Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day on Thursday, Kangaloo said the story of Spiritual Baptists' fight to practice their faith despite the imposition of the 1917 Ordinance which banned them from doing so, is a story of rejection, struggle, victory, acceptance and earned respect.
“People tend to fear what they do not know. They also tend to fear what they cannot control…Strong people also tend to rise above the injustices and the barriers that are put in their way. Strong people cannot be silenced.
“It is a story to which all of us can relate. All of us have been through these experiences, in some form or another. Happily, for us, we have the example of the Spiritual/Shouter Baptist faith, and of how to rise from the depths of rejection and arrive at the pinnacles of acceptance and earned respect.”
Kangaloo said the Baptist faith and journey provides a model for people to follow and called for citizens to “never be silenced in our struggle against injustice.”
“Let us think about the fear that we feel towards the things in our lives that we do not know, and that we cannot control. Often, such fear brings anger and can sometimes cause us to act in ways that inflict harm on those around us. Let us therefore try to let go of that fear. Let us try to be a strong people. Where injustices and the barriers are put in our way, let us try to rise above them.
“Let us support each other, and advocate for one another, in the face of every injustice and of every barrier. Let us never be silenced in our struggle against injustice. Most of all, let us never waver in our commitment to our God and to our country. Let us model, in our daily lives, the faith-journey of the Spiritual/Shouter Baptist faith.”
The Ordinance was eventually repealed on March 30, 1951, and in 1996 the government granted the Spiritual Baptists their own public holiday.
The President ended her statement by wishing the Spiritual Baptist community, and TT, best wishes for a "safe and joyous celebration of Spiritual Baptist Liberation Shouter Day 2023."