The American Red Cross sincerely apologizes for any confusion around the issue of prayer in Red Cross shelters. Faith is an important part of helping people recover after a disaster, and people in our shelters are always welcome to pray, read their bibles and gather among themselves–we simply ask that they are respectful of others. There are hundreds of people of different values and faiths sharing a large space in our shelters, and we want to respect the privacy of everyone.
If a shelter resident would like to speak with a spiritual advisor, the Red Cross can help to facilitate that connection. When needed, we can also provide private spaces for residents to pray and engage in religious activities with their preferred spiritual advisors.
The Red Cross follows the guidelines set forth by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to provide appropriate and respectful disaster spiritual care. Through our Disaster Spiritual Care program, trained Red Cross workers bolster hope and resilience for the survivors and their families by helping people draw upon their own spiritual resources – values and faith – in the midst of their pain, regardless of their faith tradition.
To learn more about our disaster spiritual care volunteers, read Red Cross Offers Disaster Spiritual Care to Flood Survivors in Louisiana.