Diverse Religious Responses to the Tragedy of Katrina

September 5, 2005

Source: The Washington Post


On September 5, 2005 The Washington Post reported, "At houses of worship across the Washington area, people struggled this weekend to understand the catastrophe of Katrina through the prism of their faiths, and to use their religious beliefs as a cornerstone of their response... For members of Washington's large immigrant community, many of whom have experienced the desperation of being displaced, the opportunity to give took on additional meaning. 'When we came here, the American people helped us,' explained the Rev. Phero Long after Mass at Our Lady of Vietnam Parish in Silver Spring. 'Now we have to help them'... More than 23,000 Vietnamese Americans live in Louisiana, according to the National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies... At a Hindu temple in Beltsville, there were plans for a blood drive, among other relief efforts. Members of the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, part of a global socio-religious organization, are accustomed to responding to such calamities, leaders there said. Many had family and friends affected by the tsunami in South Asia earlier this year and by a devastating earthquake in India a few years before that."