WORLD NEWS
09/22/2017 03:53 pm ET

Mexicans Turn To Their Faith As Country Recovers From Earthquake

In Mexico City, Catholics attended an outdoor Mass to mourn loved ones.
Relatives and friends of victims attend a catholic mass outside the the Enrique Rebsamen school that collapsed during Tuesday
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Relatives and friends of victims attend a catholic mass outside the the Enrique Rebsamen school that collapsed during Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico. 

Days after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit central Mexico, residents are in part turning to prayer and spirituality to cope with the devastation. 

The earthquake, which hit on Tuesday, severely crippled Mexico City, and has caused major damage in nearby states. About 286 people were reported dead as of Friday, the AP reports, with more than half of those deaths occurring in in the country’s capital city. 

Rescue workers were still attempting to find survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings on Friday. 

In a country where about 81 percent of the population identifies as Catholic, some survivors of the earthquake have been turning to their religion for comfort as they bury the dead.

In southern Mexico City, 19 children and six adults died after the collapse of the Enrique Rebsámen school building. Eleven children were successfully rescued from the rubble as of Thursday, the AP reports. 

Relatives, friends, and rescue workers gathered near the school Thursday evening to participate in a large, outdoor Catholic Mass to remember victims. The priest spoke the names of the dead, and attendees released white balloons with messages for the deceased. 

“My brave princess,” one balloon read, “we will always love you.” 

Scroll down for images of faith in action in Mexico, and click here for suggestions of how to help. 

  • A woman talks with a priest two days after the earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico. The earthquake comes 32 years aft
    Hector Vivas via Getty Images
    A woman talks with a priest two days after the earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico. The earthquake comes 32 years after a magnitude-8.0 earthquake hit on September 19, 1985.
  • Rosalba Ramirez Vargas, center, with the prayer group 'The Best Friends of Jesus' pray while anxiously waiting for news from
    Gary Coronado via Getty Images
    Rosalba Ramirez Vargas, center, with the prayer group 'The Best Friends of Jesus' pray while anxiously waiting for news from rescue crews at Enrique Rebsamen School in Mexico City.
  • Flowers and a religious image are seen amidst support beams and rubble during the search for students.
    Daniel Becerril / Reuters
    Flowers and a religious image are seen amidst support beams and rubble during the search for students.
  • At least 25 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage of the school. 
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    At least 25 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage of the school. 
  • Relatives and friends signed balloons with messages after the mass. 
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Relatives and friends signed balloons with messages after the mass. 
  • A boy writes a message for victims during the service.
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    A boy writes a message for victims during the service.
  • People write the names of victims and messages for them on balloons. 
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    People write the names of victims and messages for them on balloons. 
  • A woman is seen reading letters written to remember children who have died during the earthquake. 
    NurPhoto via Getty Images
    A woman is seen reading letters written to remember children who have died during the earthquake. 
  • Flowers are seen during the mass. 
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Flowers are seen during the mass. 
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