Tsunamis Challenge Faith of Many South Asians

December 31, 2004

Source: Kansas City Star


On December 31, 2004 the Kansas City Star reported, "Not only did the tsunami drown southern Asia; it challenged its soul. When the waves washed over India's coastal villages Sunday, thousands of pilgrims to a Marian shrine were washed away while paying homage and attending mass. Bodies were scattered and buried in the sand, and the shrine suddenly became a morgue. University of Chicago divinity student Kristin Bloomer, who had been studying Indian devotion to Mary, said she watched as one man shouted: 'There is nothing! There is nothing! Where is God? What is God?' Then he burst into tears, hung his head and wept. While not all faiths can provide an explanation for why such devastating disasters happen, scholars say each of the four major religions in the region - Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity - possesses a distinct theology that eventually will help people put the calamity in perspective and move forward in its wake. But it will take time, they say, for survivors to reclaim their lives and recover their faith."