Obeah Legislation in Jamaica
In September I wrote a post entitled "Obeah is not a bad word!" and I touched on the history of African Traditional religion in the Americas. Click the link to get familiar with that post if you'd like a quick history lesson.
According to Jamaican news site The Loop, the Justice Minister of Jamaica Delroy Chuck promised to repeal the 100-year-old Obeah Act from Jamaica's law books at last week's parliament meeting. He was supported by Central Clarendon's parliament representative Mike Henry who made the following quote:
“I am awaiting clarification as to whether we’re now moving something that will make obeah legal, or it remains illegal. If it is not legal I have reservations because you can’t deny me my African religious rights,”
“I don’t want it to be misunderstood by anyone, anywhere, so I am asking for clarification because obeah should never have been illegal at any point, anytime, anywhere,” he added.
While this is not the biggest breakthrough it is quite significant as Jamaica is a very Christian country with more churches per capita than anywhere in the world. There's a lot of push back from the Christian community, which is to be expected, but hopefully, this creates a space for Jamaicans and other Caribbean nations to discuss how they plan to repeal some of these very strict laws which have been used to demonize and diminish the power of our ancestral spiritual practices.
A step forward is a step forward is a step forward.