Fremont

Please note: While efforts have been made to verify the locations of religious centers and interfaith organizations maps may not always be accurate or up to date. For those centers without a physical address, a symbol appears at the city center. Read more about our methodology.

Fremont, located in the southeast corner of the San Francisco Bay Area, is home to Mission San José, the fourteenth oldest Spanish mission in California. As of 2010, Asians comprise fifty percent of Fremont’s population, with a large number making their home in the Mission San Jose district. With a population of a little over 214,000 people, Fremont is today one the nation’s most diverse cities for its size. The religious traditions of the world are in evidence in Fremont, with a rajagopuram rising in a tidy suburban neighborhood to announce the presence of a growing Hindu community. In Fremont, Sikhs have established an active religious center along a street now called “Gurdwara Road.” The diversity of the global Buddhist community is also present, as Thai, Chinese, and Burmese temples—and a women’s monastic retreat center—dot the landscape. Fremont’s many mosques include the Islamic Society of the East Bay, built next door to a church on a road they named “Peace Terrace.”

Interfaith activity in Fremont began with the Tri-City Ministerial Association, a Protestant clergy group founded in the early 1960s. Over the years, as the city and its religious leadership became more diverse, the organization expanded its mission and changed its name to the Tri-City Interfaith Council (TCIC). In 2011, the TCIC hosted its 50th annual Thanksgiving service, a celebration of prayers, music, readings, and dance, with the theme “Unity in Diversity.” Just as the TCIC’s work extends beyond Fremont, serving the neighboring cities of Newark and Union City, other regional efforts make an impact on Fremont’s interfaith life: the vital Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group, based in San Mateo, is but one example. Within Fremont itself, home to the second largest Afghan population in the U.S., the Afghan Coalition and the Bridge Building Program of the Centerville Presbyterian Church bolster local interfaith relations. In addition, the City of Fremont’s Human Relations Commission engages in a range of efforts to address discrimination and promote positive inter-group relations, helping to create a context in which interfaith activity can thrive. The city’s encounter with religious diversity is chronicled in the film “Fremont, U.S.A.”