Haitians hold day of mourning on a month after quake

February 12, 2010 17:35

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Atop the rubble of destroyed churches, in parks and on sidewalks, thousands of Haitians prayed Friday in a national day of mourning, one month after a magnitude-7 earthquake killed more than 200,000 and left this Caribbean country struggling for survival.

Leaders of Haiti's two official religions — a Catholic bishop and the head of the Voodoo priests, both robed in white — joined with ministers from Protestant denominations for a prayer service in the shade of mimosa trees near the shattered National Palace. Hundreds of people gathered, and the men wore black armbands of mourning.

President Rene Preval wept during the service, his wife trying to console him.

Parishioners filled churches in Port-au-Prince's Petionville suburb and set up loudspeakers so those in the streets could follow. Others stood on debris that used to be a Catholic Church and an evangelical church to remember victims hurriedly and anonymously buried in mass graves outside the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.

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