Research Group Documents Religious Diversity in the Bible Belt

April 1, 2001

Source: The Tennessean

On April 1, 2001, The Tennessean reported that the Bible Belt is now home to "Six Buddhist communities. Five Jewish congregations. Five Islamic mosques. A Baha'i center. A Hindu temple and a Hindu ashram, or teaching abode. Plus assorted Sikhs and Jains...Others exist, too." Tom Russell, a Western Kentucky University professor of religion, said that, "'The Bible Belt image is getting so stretched that, maybe in 10 or 20 years, you can't use it anymore.'...Russell and 15 students...are doing local research [in Nashville] for the Pluralism Project, a Harvard University initiative to document the growing religious diversity in the nation, especially focusing on immigrant religions."