Where is God in Times of Tragedy?
Faith Leaders Share Their Views on God and Suffering
Compiled by Omar Sacirbey
Of the many traits that our planet’s diverse peoples share is our vulnerability – physical, mental, spiritual – to tragedy. The natural disasters come out of nowhere and in seconds take hundreds of thousands of lives, good lives, the lives of the poor, weak and innocent, those least deserving of tragedy. Same with the senseless violence that cuts down the best and brightest citizens and the diseases that snatch little children: They force difficult questions and test faith. Why did God let this happen? Could God have stopped it? Is there a God? Then why do so many bad things happen to so many good people?
What’s also shared across the globe is the way faith can shape how we understand and respond to tragedy. At the same time, there is great diversity in what people see in tragedy: wrath, rebirth, mystery, and more. Here, 14 religious figures and relief experts from five religions offer their reflections on tragedy, and how faith helps them understand and respond to it.