Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
What’s helped pull her through all the grief, she said, has been her faith, but not of the Catholic, Protestant or even Voodoo variety that have predominated in this island country. Instead, she’s converted to a new religion here, Islam, and built a small neighborhood mosque out of cinderblocks and plywood, where some 60 Muslims pray daily.
Islam has won a growing number of followers in this impoverished country, especially after the catastrophe two years ago that killed some 300,000 people and left millions more homeless. A capital where church attendance is so prevalent that the streets echo with Christian hymns on Sundays now has at least five mosques, a Muslim parliament member and a nightly local television program devoted to Islam.
The disaster drew in aid groups from around the world, including Islamic Relief USA, which built 200 shelters and a secondary school with 20 classrooms.
“After the earthquake we had a lot of people join,” said Robert Dupuy, an imam or Islamic spiritual leader in the capital. “We were organized. We had space in the mosques to receive people and food to feed them.”
SOURCE: USA TODAY AP