Why does Haiti struggle so much, and what can we do?

Have you have glanced at the world news or read some of Bright Hope’s recent reports of Haiti lately? Then you know that Haiti is going through a major upheaval. Last year, Haiti’s president was assassinated. Meanwhile, violent gangs rule the land, gas depots, and major highways. Consequently, Gasoline supplies are a trickle of what is needed, and violence is the rule. 

Why is Haiti Struggling to Develop?

Over the last two weeks, an outbreak of gang fights in a major slum killed more than hundreds of people. Sadly, innocent people are dying and others live in risk. As a result, Haitians are leaving Port-au-Prince (PAP) for the safer rural areas. Those who choose to stay in PAP must reinforce their walls to block stray bullets. 

Skyrocketing food prices have caused increases in hunger and hunger-related illnesses. In addition, while fleeing violence, the vulnerable must escape with no food or money.  

As Christians, we must look at the long history of violence and death in Haiti from a spiritual perspective. Truly, the legacy of inept leadership causes me to pause and ask deeper questions about what might be going on.  

From slavery in the 1600s to corrupt politicians today, human sin has devastating effects—and often for generations. Consequently, the Haitian people have historically experienced political and social oppression. This has created an infrastructure of inequity and hopelessness. 

Haiti also has a history of spiritual oppression. Voodoo, animal sacrifice, curses, witchdoctors, slavery, and strange events occur daily. From my study of demonology at Talbot Seminary, I believe in angels and demonic spirits. Unfortunately, evil spiritual forces tend to work where sin and corruption flourish. 

What Can We Do About the Struggles in Haiti?

However, before getting too far into a tingling conversation about spirits, let’s remember something. Jesus is more powerful than any principality or power Satan may have in Haiti or anywhere else! And He will continue working faithfully through His church to transform individuals, families, and entire communities.  

And as His people, we must pray for Haiti! Ephesians 6:12 reminds us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places,” (NASB). 

Praying Hands over Bibl

Certainly, I believe followers of Jesus can help calm this storm of hatred and evil in Haiti. How? Through prayer! Our staff on the ground in Haiti see miracles every day! As they visit our church partners, they hear stories of people released from spiritual bondage. Hope is there! And it is Jesus and His church who can proclaim it.  

In conclusion, Christians in the developed world often forget about the political, social, and spiritual needs of less developed nations like Haiti. As a result, we should pray for God’s grace, justice, and power to rule in Haiti. Likewise, we should give so that the Haitian people can find freedom from their hunger, spiritual darkness, and lawless leaders.  

Finally, here are two church-based projects we’re working on in Haiti. We welcome your prayers and financial support! 

Bright Hope is dedicated to our world-class, church-based community development model – Hope for Today, Hope for Tomorrow, Hope for Eternity.  

You can also read more to learn how this three-pronged strategy played out in the life of one family from Uganda.


C.H. Dyer
C.H. Dyer

Hi, I am C.H. Dyer. I have a passion for helping those living in extreme poverty and a knack for getting people engaged with the poor. I believe if you are faithful and generous with what you have, God will transform you and your family’s hearts and minds, just as your gifts can bring physical transformation to the poor. My angel wife, Anne, and three kids are my inspiration. And I also happen to have been leading Bright Hope for the past two decades.