Washington, Jan. 14 (ANI): A US televangelist has sparked outrage by suggesting that the death of 500,000 people in Haiti earthquake was a direct consequence of their "Satanic pact", and it was actually a "blessing in disguise."
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They (Haitians) were under the heel of the French and they got together and swore a pact to the devil," Fox News quoted Pat Robertson as saying on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
"They said 'We will serve you' ... and so, the devil said 'Okay, it's a deal' and kicked the French out," he added.
Even as the world mourns for Haiti and the 500,000 people believed to be dead, Robertson had questioned whether the earthquake in Haiti was a "blessing in disguise."
"They need to have a great turning to God," he concluded.
Robertson's statements spread through social networking websites Twitter and Facebook.com, where outraged users expressed disgust by the statement.
Hours after his comments ignited a firestorm in the news media and online, Robertson's "700 Club" TV show issued a statement elaborating on his remarks.
The station clarified that Robertson's comments were based "on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion ...where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed."
Over 500,000 people were feared dead after a cataclysmic earthquake struck Haiti, filling the streets with corpses and burying thousands under razed schools, hotels and hospitals.
Casualty figures were impossible to calculate, but Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said the final death toll from the 7.0-magnitude quake could be "well over 100,000." President Rene Preval said that 500,000 could be dead.
"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," Preval said. (ANI)