VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. evangelical minister Pat Robertson said the devastating earthquake in Haiti could have occurred because of a long-ago pact with the devil.
Robertson, host of the Christian television talk show "700 Club," blamed Tuesday's 7-magnitude earthquake and its tragic aftermath on events that happened in Haiti's past that people today may not want to discuss, CNN reported.
The Haitians "were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever," Robertson said during his broadcast Wednesday. "And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.'"
Haitians defeated the French in 1804, declaring their independence. Ever since, Robertson said, the nation has been "cursed by one thing after the other."
Robertson, who has tied other natural disasters and terror attacks to divine retribution, "never stated the earthquake (in Haiti) was God's wrath," said Chris Roslan, spokesman for Christian Broadcasting Network, the Virginia Beach, Va., home to "700 Club."
"His humanitarian arm has been working to help thousands of people in Haiti over the last year, and they are currently launching a major relief and recovery effort to help the victims of this disaster," the statement posted on CBN's Web site said. "They have sent a shipment of millions of dollars worth of medications that is now in Haiti, and their disaster team leaders are expected to arrive tomorrow and begin operations to ease the suffering."