August 3, 2009

Virginia temple foreclosure

I don’t know much about the Vietnamese temple in Pungo, Virginia, but it contains several points that affect Asian American Buddhist congregations elsewhere in North America.
A house in Pungo used by Buddhists as a temple is in foreclosure, and the monks are looking for a new spot.

The 4-acre ranch, at 4177 West Neck Road, was the subject of litigation when the monks sued Virginia Beach, arguing that the city violated their religious freedom by denying them a use permit to hold services.

Buddhist temples are frequently opposed by local neighborhoods, even when endorsed by local officials. Some complaints are understandable, such as concerns about parking, while others are laughable, such as worries that prison chaplains might attract “undesirables” to the neighborhood. I’m curious about the financial issue, but the article doesn’t say enough to draw any firm conclusions.

1 comment :

  1. After reading the newspaper articles, and noticing that the settlement before foreclosure included limiting the number and size of Buddha statues on the property, I really wonder how they would have reacted to a white, Christian group doing similar activities. Or any Christian group for that matter. Would there have been any fuss at all?

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