Source: Minnesota Public Radio
On February 22, 2004 Minnesota Public Radio reported, "Laotians have lived in southwest Minnesota since the 1970's. Most fled their native land after the communist takeover. Bounlome Soumetho is one. The Worthington resident is busy working and raising a family. He's also president of the local Buddhist organization. The group bought a farmhouse near town last year. Soumetho sees the outline of a Buddhist temple in the bones of the old building... The Buddhists had to fight to get county approval for the temple. Nobles County has zoning laws covering the farmland which dominates the area. It's a way to regulate development. Farmers must get permission if they want to put up a hog barn. And a religious organization must get county approval if they want to locate a church in a rural area. The county rejected the temple plan the first time they voted on it, but approved it the second."