Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu Temples Flourishing in the "Inland" Area

August 7, 2005

Source: The Press-Enterprise

On August 7, 2005 The Press-Enterprise reported, "Buddhist temples take root in communities from San Bernardino and Riverside to Moreno Valley, Wildomar and Idyllwild. A Hindu temple in Riverside is growing so rapidly that a major expansion is near. UC Riverside recently established an endowed chair in Sikh studies. The increasingly visible presence of Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh temples in the Inland area is the result of a rapidly growing Asian population, fueled largely by immigration, residents said. Asians were second only to Hispanics in the rate of growth between 1990 and 2003, according to the California Department of Finance... 'The Los Angeles region has the most Buddhist citizens in the world with every known sect,' [said Justin McDaniel, assistant professor of religious studies at UCR.] Although no one knows exactly how many Buddhists live in the Inland area, the number could be more than 10,000. There are nearly two dozen temples in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and temples typically average 80 to 100 families, McDaniel said... Most of the estimated 2,000 Sri Lankan Buddhists in the region moved here within the last decade, [Narada Gangadhara, a board member of Sambuddhaloka Vihara] said."