In Trinidad and Tobago, Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day is a public holiday celebrated every 30 March. It commemorates the repeal of the Shouter Prohibition Ordinance.
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The exact origins of the Spiritual, or “Shouter”, Baptist movement are disputed, there being as many as four widely held theories of origin. But suffice it to say, the group mixes African religious beliefs and practices with Baptist ones. The group arose during the 1800’s and is sometimes considered a separate religion, and one of the few religions that began in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Spiritual Baptist faith later expanded to Barbados and then to Canada, the US, and beyond. And many of its adherents also follow “Shango” beliefs and attend both Shango and Spiritual Baptists services.
Reaction against the syncretic tendencies of Spiritual Baptists led to their faith being banned by law in 1917. The ban was repealed in 1951, and later, the repeal became occasion for a national holiday celebrating religious freedom.
There may be parades, special church services, and other events put on by Spiritual Baptists on Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day.