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Spiritual Baptist Day

Trinidad and Tobago National Holiday of Trinidad and Tobago

Spiritual Baptist Day is a national holiday in Trinidad and Tobago on 30 March

When is Spiritual Baptist Day?

How long until Spritual Baptist Day?
This holiday next takes place in 280 Days.
Dates of Spritual Baptist Day
Year Weekday Date
2018 Friday March 30th
2017 Thursday March 30th
2016 Wednesday March 30th
2015 Monday March 30th
Duration
1 Day
Summary
Commemorates the 1951 repeal of a law that prohibited the activities of the Spiritual Baptist faith

This holiday is always celebrated on 30 March each year.

Spiritual Baptist Day may also be known as Shouter Baptist Liberation Day and marks the 1951 repeal of the prohibition on practising the religion.

History of Spiritual Baptist Day

Spiritual Baptist is a religion that developed from similar faiths in several Caribbean countries. It combines elements of Protestant Christianity with African customs and rituals.

The Baptist faith in Trinidad is a legacy of the Merikin community. The 'Merikins' were African-American refugees of the War of 1812 – freed slaves who fought for the British against the Americans during the war of 1812. Following the end of the war, the Merikins established a community in the south of Trindad. They brought the Baptist faith, having been part of evangelical sects common in places such as Georgia and Virginia.

In 1917, practising the religion was prohibited under the Shouter Prohibition Ordinance by the British colonial government. The reason given was that the noise created during their services was disturbing the peace.

Spiritual Baptists are sometimes referred to as 'shouters', as during services, they shout, clap, sing loudly and ring bells. During the time of the prohibition on their religion, the Spiritual Baptists dropped the name Shouter Baptists in order to gain more respect for their religion.

The ordinance was repealed on 30 March 1951, leaving the Spiritual Baptists free to practice their religion as they wish.

This holiday was first observed in 1966 to mark the repeal of the prohibition and the struggle for religious freedom.


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