Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day

Spiritual Baptist (Shouters) Liberation Day

March 30
The people of Trinidad and Tobago observe March 30 as Spiritual Baptist (Shouters) Liberation Day. This national holiday, instituted in 1996, honors an African-American religious sect once outlawed in Trinidad and Tobago. The Spiritual Baptists originally came to the islands as former American slaves, who had fought for the British in the Revolutionary War. Their style of worship combined African and American Baptist beliefs and practices. Services include bell ringing, shouting, and high-volume singing and chanting. The colonial government of Trinidad and Tobago accused the Spiritual Baptists of disturbing the peace. In 1917, the government forbade the group (nicknamed the "Shouters") from practicing their religion. This law was overturned in 1951. The recently established national holiday honors the Spiritual Baptists' long struggle against religious persecution. It is observed with speeches and religious services.
CONTACTS:
Ministry of Tourism, Trinidad and Tobago Government
51-55 Frederick St.
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
868-624-1403; fax: 868-625-0437
www.gov.tt
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In addition, the Government recognizes the Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day, associated with the Spiritual Baptist religion.