Prominent Haitian Vodou priestess dies, and country mourns

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Euvonie Georges Auguste, a prominent Vodou priestess and secretary general of Haiti’s National Conference of Vodouists, has died, prompting expressions of mourning from national leaders on Wednesday.

Vodou high priest Carl-Henry Désmornes told Le Nouvelliste newspaper that that Auguste died Wednesday of unidentified health complications. Her age was not immediately known.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry tweeted condolences to family and friends, saying, “I salute the memory of this leader, committed and dedicated to the defense and promotion of Vodou.-“

Auguste was outspoken on political issues, taking part in meetings held by the Organization of American States and participating in the successful campaign to make Vodou an official religion in Haiti in the early 2000s.

The religion is practiced widely in the country of more than 11 million people. It was created in the 1500s when African slaves forced to practice Catholicism mixed saints with spirits from African religions.

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