Growing number of Haitians embracing Islam

Growing number of Haitians embracing Islam

POSTED: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 8:04am

Growing numbers of Haitians have begun to embrace Islam since the 2010 earthquake. Christianity is the dominant religion, hymns are heard throughout the city on sunday. But Port-au-Prince now has at least five mosques, a Muslim member of parliament and a nightly TV show devoted to Islam. One recent convert said the constant washing that Islam demands has helped her and her family avoid cholera and other illnesses that have killed thousands of Haitians.

The growth of Islam has been credited to expatriates who adopted the faith in the U.S. and other countries and brought it back to Haiti. There are no firm statistics on the number of Muslims in Haiti, but a 2009 Pew Research Study estimated there were about 200,000. Haiti's Islamic leaders say the figure is much larger and growing. The Haitian government does not recognize Islam as an official religion and does not honor Muslim marriages.

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