Tsunami Unites But Also Divides People Along Religious and Ethnic Lines

January 12, 2005

Source: The New York Times


On January 12, 2005 The New York Times reported, "Across nations and religions there has been a search for explanations of not only why the tsunami came but why it killed some and not others - and a vibrant, sometimes virulent cottage industry is supplying them. Some discern a lesson that humanity should unite, citing the bodies of people of all religions tumbling together into mass graves, while others see affirmations of the rightness of their own path. Amid sympathy, there is judgment; beneath public compassion, a private moralizing. The tsunami may also deepen religious and ethnic divisions, perhaps dangerously. In Sri Lanka in recent years, dozens of churches have been attacked by militant Buddhists. It is the Christians, some Buddhists say, who are to blame for the tsunami."