Quick Note: The Rise of a Vodun Activist

The African country of Benin is thought to be the birthplace of Vodun (aka Vodou/Voodoo), and it is the third largest religion in that country (after Christianity and Islam). But despite the enduring popularity of Vodun in Benin, it has been slowly losing ground to Islam and Christianity, particularly in places like Cotonou, the country’s economic hub and largest city, where Christianity is prevalent. Enter Vodun priest Dah Aligbonon Akpochihala, a direct descendant of the semi-mythical princess Aligbonon, who’s become an evangelist and advocate for a new openness within his faith. “Mr. Aligbonon takes it a step further. He regularly speaks on radio and television in Benin, a priest with a will to electronically diffuse the wisdom of ancestors from centuries past. The aim, in his telling, is to bring voodoo and associated teachings out of the closet and up to date, just like with the rapid-fire training he is developing to create initiates in three months, instead of the usual three years.