As horrible and shocking as this headline is, what is even more disturbing is that this horrific event took place in the otherwise civilized nation of America! In the somewhat small town of East Bridgewater Massachusetts – approximately 30 miles south of Boston – police have reported that two sisters tied down and then burned a 5-year-old girl, permanently disfiguring her, in a voodoo ritual that was intended to rid the girl of a demon these two sisters said was causing her to misbehave. The two sisters were identified as Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, of East Bridgewater. According to police reports, the girl’s mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client. The mother reportedly requested the ritual and has not been charged, but is receiving mental health treatment. The sisters told police they have performed what they call “cleansing baths” for friends and family in the past. These rituals involve chanting prayers, rubbing eucalyptus oils, frankincense, and sea salt on their bodies, and burning myrrh, the Brockton Enterprise newspaper reported. The sisters said children sometimes get burned as spirits leave the body. The 5-year-old girl in this case suffered a third-degree burn across her face that will leave her permanently disfigured. Police said she was treated at a hospital and taken into custody by state welfare authorities, along with her brother, who described to police what happened at the sisters’ house over multiple days. Authorities said the women also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s 8-year-old brother with a machete. The sisters have denied these charges.
Origins of Voodoo
The term “Voodoo” refers to several religious practices developed centuries ago. The original West African Voodoo is a polytheistic religion that worships a god with a dual nature, both masculine and feminine, and pays homage to various spirits that rule over nature as well as spirits in rivers, trees, rocks, etc. This form of Voodoo also includes animal sacrifices and ancestor worship. Voodoo was also practiced by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, primarily in Haiti, where the practices are sometimes spelled “vodou.” When slaves were brought to the New World and pressured to convert to Roman Catholicism many then mixed their West African Voodoo with Roman Catholicism forming a type of Voodoo found in Latin America, Cuba, Haiti, and Louisiana. This expression of Voodoo is usually called Santeria. Because it is based primarily on oral tradition, Voodoo can vary greatly from person to person. Generally, there is belief in one god, often called Bondye, but this god is remote and is not active in daily life. Similarly, in most expressions of Voodoo there is a strong emphasis on belief in spirits – both good and evil – that supervise and influence everything.
Relevant Bible Passages
Voodoo involves the worship of spirits and various occult practices such as sorcery and divination (fortune-telling). These practices are repeatedly condemned by God throughout the Bible in the strongest of terms. For instance, in Deuteronomy 18:9-13, God forbids even consulting with anyone who practices “divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium, or who consults the dead.” See also Leviticus 19:26, 31, 20:6; 2 Kings 17:17; Acts 19:18-19; Revelation 21:8, 22:15 for other evidence that the practice of Voodoo is strictly condemned by Scripture. The god of Voodoo is not the God of the Bible, but a distant god who is not involved with nature or humanity. The worship of the spirits that takes place in Voodoo is – in reality – the worship of false gods! As such is obviously condemned throughout the Bible (Exodus 20:3; Psalm 115:4-8; Isaiah 43:10; 1 John 4:1). Not only is Voodoo a false religion that is entirely incompatible with Christianity, but its beliefs and practices are clearly contradictory to God’s Word.
PRAY: Pray for the complete recovery of this 5-year-old girl and her safety as well as the safety of her 8-year-old brother. Pray their mother can escape the deception of Voodoo and that others in that area would not be deceived by this false religion.