Hinduism

Rama Navami

April 8, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On April 8, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that Wednesday, April 12th is Rama Navami, a Hindu holiday honoring the birth of the Hindu deity Rama, who is revered as a "paragon of moral virtue." Arvind Sharma, professor of comparative religion at McGill University, stated: "Rama has become very important in the modern Hindu imagination...He is very upright and martial, and he symbolizes the persistence of the Hindu hope for some kind of restoration of his power." The central event of the celebration of Rama Navami is the recitation...

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Holi Celebration

March 18, 2000

Source: The Fresno Bee

On March 18, 2000, the Fresno Bee reported the the Hindu Temple of Fresno in northeast Clovis is preparing to celebrate the joyful spring festival of Holi. This festival is celebrated with color: balloons filled with colored water and dry dyes are thrown at and by participants. The temple includes a sanctuary with representations of the multiple gods and goddesses of the Hindu faith, a kitchen, library and an office. And it is already in need of expansion. "This is too crowded. We had 200 people at the last service," said Dr....

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House of Worship in Maryland Gets Approval from the Planning Commission

February 2, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On February 2, 2000, The Washington Post published an article on the Maryland-National Capitol Park and Planning Commission, which regulates the physical growth and development in Montgomery and Prince George counties. In the 1990s, the Commission has had to handle many disputes between developers wanting to build houses of worship and residents complaining of a potential for problems which would detract from the overall community. Recently, the Planning Board voted to allow the Hindu Center of Metropolitan Washington to build a...

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Hindus Lose Battle to Make Former Masonic Temple into Cultural Center

January 15, 2000

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On January 15, 2000, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the East Bay Hindu organization will have to look elsewhere to find a home for a cultural center after an attempt to move into a former Masonic Temple in Concord, California failed. Concord city staffers denied the cultural center's application to move into the building because new zoning regulations for that neighborhood specify that the building be used for tax-generating purposes. The building's owner submitted a proposal to move a radio station into the...

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Diwali Program

December 19, 1999

Source: Chicago Daily Herald

On December 19, 1999, the Chicago Daily Herald reported that the Geneva Public Library in Geneva, Illinois held a program on Saturday morning, December 18th, about the 5-day celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Greg Chismark, a parent from Geneva, was one of about a dozen who witnessed the program: "It is important for the kids to understand the different cultures...They need to recognize not everyone celebrates Christmas."

Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 22, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On November 22, 1999, The Boston Globe reported that about 60 people gathered outside the Beacon Hill Baptist Church on Cambridge Street in Boston to protest the SBC prayer guide to convert Hindus. The rally was organized by the New England Hindus Against Religious Intolerance. The prayer guide states: "Hindus seek power and blessing through the worship of gods and goddesses and the demonic powers that lay behind them...Hindus lack a concept of sin or personal responsibility...they are slaves bound by fear and tradition...and the...

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Hindu Community in Huntington Beach, California

November 20, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On November 20, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the Hindu community in Huntington Beach, CA. More than 15 families have gathered together once every other week for the past 15 years in private homes. The main purpose of the group, officially titled United India Bal Vihar, is to teach their children about the traditions and history of Hinduism, which they don't get in school. At the gatherings, there are opening prayers and chanting, followed by a speech about ethics from an elder, and then a presentation by a...

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Diwali - The Festival of Lights

November 13, 1999

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On November 13, 1999, the Omaha World-Herald published an article on the Hindu celebration of Diwali in Omaha, Nebraska. Diwali is a four-day holiday that marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The holiday denotes the end of the harvest season and it honors Lord Rama who, according to Hindu legend, vanquished the demon Ravana and returned from exile on the day known as Diwali. Oil lamps, fireworks, and candles are part of the Diwali celebration because it is said that the town was decorated with oil lamps to light Rama's way...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 8, 1999

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On November 8, 1999, The Houston Chronicle reported that the Hindus of Greater Houston organized a rally on Sunday, November 7th outside of the Second Baptist Church to protest the recent SBC prayer guide for converting Hindus. More than 100 people attended the protest, including several Jews, carrying signs saying, "Religious Intolerance is Un-American," and "The Truth is One. The Paths are Many." Gary Moore, spokesman of the 26,000 member Second Baptist Church, had not seen the guide, but spoke on behalf of Southern Baptists...

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Hindu Population in Connecticut

November 7, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On November 7, 1999, The New York Times published an article on the growth of the Hindu community in Connecticut, including the opening of a two-story temple in Middletown, CT. In 1950, the federal census listed the number of Hindus in Connecticut at 333. The last census, in 1990, indicated that the Hindu population had grown to 11,755 in Connecticut. The first real wave of Indian immigrants to Connecticut was in the 1970's, with many of the immigrants being children of elite Hindu families in India. Barun K. Basu, who arrived in...

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Buena Park, California Rejects Plan for Hindu Temple

November 3, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On November 3, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that city leaders in Buena Park, CA turned down a proposed $50-million Hindu complex on Tuesday, November 2nd. The complex would have included the nation's most lavish Hindu temple, a 20,000-square-foot structure with golden walls and spires, and the second biggest temple outside of India after the Hindu temple in London, England. The Buena Park City Council voted to oppose zoning changes necessary for the Hindu complex to be built, since the site is located in the city's "...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 1, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On November 1, 1999, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that 60 Metro Atlanta Hindus attended a rally on Sunday, October 31st at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta to protest the SBC's prayer guide to convert Hindus. Signs held by the protesters stated, "Bigotry and Hatred, the world can live without" and "Truth is one. Wise call it different." Shyam Tiwari, a software developer, attended the rally: "It's basically the pain we feel because of the denigration of Hindus and Hinduism by Southern Baptists...

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Southern Baptists Target Hindus in Conversion Efforts

October 23, 1999

Source: The Associated Press

On October 23, 1999, The Associated Press published an article entitled, "Ex S. Baptist Leader Chides Church" by Julia Lieblich. The article reports the reaction of Keith Parks, former president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), to the new prayer guides being published by the SBC. Parks was president of the Mission Board for 13 years, until he left for the more moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 1990. Parks stated that he was "no longer acceptable" to new convention leaders...

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