Diverse Religious Growth in Dutchess County, NY

June 15, 2003

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal


On June 15, 2003 the Poughkeepsie Journal reported that "peek into almost any house of worship and the population growth in Dutchess County is obvious... Along with the swelling population comes a growing number of religious followers -- in just about every faith... Many local congregations say their membership is growing and they need to expand facilities to accommodate new members... The Hindu Samaj, also on All Angels, has more than 450 families -- an increase of about 150 since the temple opened in 1997. It has formed a committee to develop five- and 10-year plans to meet the community's future needs... The number of Dutchess residents who identify with a faith has increased by about 5 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to the American Religion Data Archive... Masjid al-Noor, on All Angels Hill Road in the Town of Wappinger, once was the only Muslim mosque in the region -- now there are mosques in Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Peekskill, Newburgh and Kingston. Middletown has two... The Jain community remains small, about 30 families, said Arvind Shah of Hopewell Junction, a member of the Hindu Samaj's board of directors. But it, too, has grown through immigration and because the community is moving into its second generation -- adult children of immigrants who remain in the area."