Discrimination Against Buddhists in Kansas

Fox 4 Kansas City reports on alleged neighborhood discrimination against Buddhists in Kansas.

The Lao-Buddhist Association [Wat Lao Buddhasampham] is trying to move it’s Olathe temple to a location along 119th Street in Olathe. But the Johnson County Board of Commissioners has so far denied the group a conditional use permit. Neighbors say that the area the Buddhists have chosen is zoned residential, but Lama Chuck Stanford of the Rime Buddhist Center says that discrimination is the real reason behind the opposition.

“This is clearly just ugliness of ethnic and religious prejudice,” said Stanford. […] Standord notes that Christian churches are common in residential areas, and that comments made by residents during a January zoning board meeting indicate fear and ignorance. At the meeting, people raised concerns about traffic, water pollution and “animal sacrifices,” along with noise from gongs, which Stanford says are no louder than church bells.

You can watch a video and read the article in full at Fox 4 Kansas City. I’m very grateful that Chuck Stanford has the integrity to go out of his way and stand up for the rights of Lao American Buddhists.

Elsewhere on this blog, I keep track of vandalized Buddhists temples. I’m not including Wat Lao Buddhasampham on this list simply because vandalism (fortunately) doesn’t appear to be one of the issues. Even so, if you have updates or more information on this community situation, I encourage you post in the comments section below!