In many of the hardest hit places such as Banda Aceh and Meulaboh the only structures sturdy enough to withstand the surging waves were Mosques. This was a source of great strength to the Achenese who are devout Muslims. To others though the tsunami was thought to be a punishment for not praying enough. It is possible however that so many Mosques survived the earthquake and tsunami as a result of simply being well built by Achenese devoted to their faith and god.
'Huge aid effort gathers speed,' CNN