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Voodoo, Catholic pilgrimage in Haiti amid instability

Thousands of Haitians on Friday made a pilgrimage to bathe in sacred waterfalls amid political instability in the wake of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines. Scrubbing their bodies with aromatic leaves and soap, a mix of Voodoo and Christian faithful gathered in the rushing waters of Sautd'Eau. Haiti is simmering with tension over the July 7 assassination of Moïse and grappling with a reported 19,300 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 480 deaths amid the biggest wave of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The annual pilgrimage is part of a three-day festival that attracts Voodoo and Christian faithful alike who believe in a 19th-century legend that the image of a virgin appeared in the waterfalls. Crowds also flocked to the local church for an annual pilgrimage made in honour of Haiti's most celebrated Catholic patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

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