SPIRITUAL and Shouter Baptists have come a long way by becoming accepted members of society after being oppressed for many years as descendants of ex-slaves.
So stated Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday in his Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day greetings to the Baptist community.
Rowley said the Baptist religion is now accepted by society, which was once considered to be "a seemingly strange and noisy religion which many viewed as disturbing".
"On March 30, 1951, Trinidad and Tobago repealed the Shouter Prohibition Ordinance which was enacted on November 16, 1917. Today, we should be mindful of the ease with which discrimination of any kind could be justified. We should ensure a level of vigilance in an effort to sniff out and stamp out discrimination in our still developing society. This brings to mind Uriah 'Buzz' Butler, a member of the Baptist faith, who rose to the forefront of the labour movement to improve the lives of workers in Trinidad and Tobago," he said.
He pointed out that as a cosmopolitan nation, this country was "blessed with people of varied races, religion and cultural backgrounds".
Rowley said it was imperative that each citizen work together in achieving a society where all are "afforded equal rights and opportunities and where we could proudly sing that 'every creed and race finds an equal place'".