Daniel Glade was a student at Illinois Wesleyan University when he researched and mapped the multi-religious diversity of the Quad Cities. Dr. Brian Hatcher was the faculty sponsor for this research. The Quad Cities are a cluster of cities located in western Illinois and eastern Iowa with a population of nearly 350,000 and an increasingly diverse religious community. Following the economic transformations of the recent Mid-western industrial decline, a burgeoning and vibrant Asian immigrant community has begun to appear. Though this population embraces many different cultures and religions, the cumulative effect has been a dramatic increase in Quad Cities area religious diversity, most notably among the Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu communities.
Using interviews and survey data, Glade’s project focused on these and other religious groups in an attempt to map the changing religious landscape of Quad Cities region. In pursuit of this goal, the study built a reliable bank of information on each religious site, explore various organizational dynamics of each group, and investigate the relationship between the assorted Asian religious communities and mainstream religious discourse. Ultimately, this project provided valuable information concerning the challenges of Asian religious communities located outside major urban centers, filling a gap in research on America’s truly pluralistic religious landscape.