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Islam Wins a Growing Number of Followers in Haiti

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Oct 11
  • Comments

Islam has won a growing number of followers in the impoverished country of Haiti, especially after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that killed 300,000 people and left millions more homeless, reports. 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 (Islamic spiritual leader) in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. "We were organized. We had space in the mosques to receive people and food to feed them." Port-au-Prince now has at least five mosques, a Muslim parliament member and a nightly local television program devoted to Islam. Just as there are no reliable figures for many things in Haiti, including Port-au-Prince's exact population, there are no firm statistics on the number of Muslims there. A 2009 study by the Pew Research Center on the world's Muslim population estimated that Haiti had about 2,000 devotees, but Islamic leaders in the country insist the number is much higher and growing. However, the Haitian government doesn't recognize Islam as an official religion, nor does it honor Muslim marriages.