Chicago Religious Communities Pray, Raise Funds for Tsunami Victims

January 1, 2005

Source: Chicago Tribune,1,5780991.story

On January 1, 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported, "As the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia climbed past the 121,000 mark Friday, religious communities responded with sacred rituals to remember the dead and looked for ways to help survivors. Hindu temples and missions around the region scheduled mass prayers for noon Sunday. Clergy members penned weekend sermons with the message of giving to those in immediate need...on Friday evening the traditional [new year's] observance [at Wat Dhammaram, a Thai Buddhist temple] began with funeral chanting, and the annual gathering was turned into a fundraiser to benefit the Thai consulate's tsunami relief fund... During Friday prayers at the Islamic Cultural Center in Northbrook, spiritual leader Imam Senad Agic urged members to do something different Jan. 20 as they observe Eid-ul-Adha, a holiday during which Muslims traditionally donate money to buy meat for the poor. This year, he suggested, they might consider directing their gifts to help feed survivors of the tsunami."