Tradition and Culture in Belize - The Traveller


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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tradition and Culture in Belize


Difficult to find more churches of different denominations as small a scope and with a population as unimportant! Given its history, Belize remains heavily Christianized (62% Catholic, about 25% of Anglicans, Baptists, etc...), But many minorities are present: Buddhist, Hindu, Mayan syncretism, and so on.

The Mennonites

Here is the ethnic-religious minority most surreal of Central America! In this colorful country, populated by Creoles and mestizos, they immediately notice they are white Europeans, often blond. The women are distinguished by their long black and red dress and a scarf that serves as a head covering, version Little House on the Prairie. These are the Mennonites.

Occasionally, you come across them on buses or in shops in Belize City where they come to shop and sell their products. Then they return to their communities. In total, they would be more than 5000, all followers of the Mennonite religion, a forgotten branch of the movement of the Anabaptists.

The origin of this little-known religious minority was in Germany of the sixteenth century. At the time, a Dutchman, a Menno Simons, rebelled against both Catholics and Lutherans corrupt enough reformers. He advocated a radical return to the original purity of the Bible. Of hard-core of Protestantism. They emigrated to Canada, the United States and Belize.

Even today, the followers of Menno grant baptism to adults and only by immersion. Far from Belize City and any city that booed sinful, they live in relative autarky, cut off from the world. Pacifists, the Mennonites condemn the war and the death penalty. You can talk to them: they seem to land another time and another planet. Puritans and ascetic obstinate indolence in the lush Caribbean.

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