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Finding God at Gitmo

What is religious freedom like at Gitmo for the detainees? Whatever was the case in the past, are the detainees treated well now?

There is a broad space for religious freedom here. Arrows pointing to Mecca are located throughout the camp. Muslim prayer calls are recognized and respected by silence throughout the camp. The health care, dietary needs, spiritual needs, and everyday concerns of the detainees are addressed daily, and they're accommodated if they're reasonable and don't conflict with Standard Operating Procedures. 

Are detainees ever interested in talking with you about their faith -- or about your own?

I am not allowed to speak with detainees at all.  

What are some of the hardest things you have had to deal with at Gitmo? What have been some of the greatest blessings?

The hardest things have to do with life back in the States. The Rhode Island Reserves, for instance, were here during the flooding in Rhode Island. When personal issues arise, it's difficult to be so far from home.

I don't think my greatest blessing has happened yet.

Is God at Gitmo?

God's grace sustains Gitmo. In large ways and small, God makes His presence known.  

Finally, when the time comes for you to leave, what will have made your time there worthwhile?

What will make my time here the most worthwhile are the relationships I have built and my witness to the guards.

 

God is real, and God can sustain us anywhere, even when we are far from our families.

Lieutenant Carr was raised in Adelphi, Maryland, and attended the University of Maryland, College Park.  He received his M.A. and M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. 

4/22/2010 4:00:00 AM