WA: Faiths' Tenets Propel Aid Efforts



SEATTLE _ Arun Sharma, a Boeing engineer from Everett, Wash., is working
with fellow Hindus, collecting money and clothes for tsunami survivors.

Marlina Soerakoesoemah of Redmond, Wash., co-founder of a magazine for
Islamic women, works with other local Muslims and Indonesians, and the
larger community, to buy women's hygiene products to send to Indonesia.

And John Roberts of Bellevue, Wash., director of a regional Buddhist
organization, spends much of his time working with fellow Buddhists here to
raise money to build 100 houses in Sri Lanka.

For all three, the decision to help stems both from their respective faiths
and from their ties to countries hit hardest by the tsunami _ Indonesia,
with the world's largest Muslim population; Sri Lanka, primarily Buddhist
with a sizable Hindu population; and India, primarily Hindu with a sizable
Muslim population.

"The love of the land is still very much alive," said Sharma, who emigrated
from India in 1991. "We all feel the pain."

While one need not ascribe to a certain faith to want to help _ as is
attested to by the multitudes who have given time, money and labor these
past few weeks _ for these three, the tenets of their religions have shaped
both the way they view what happened and what they're doing about it

 


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