Followers of Tenrikyo open Flushing temple to non-adherents

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The Tenrikyo Mission New York Center in Flushing opened its doors to all Saturday afternoon, exposing residents from across the city to a religion many in the area may have never heard of.

Although it has 2 million followers worldwide, Tenrikyo is a relatively unknown religion on the East Coast, where only five temples exist, the one in Flushing being its East Coast headquarters.

Started in Tenri, Japan, in 1838, the discipline has grown and ever more followers have learned to live according to its tenets, which emphasize that all people should live “the joyous life,” which they believe is the reason for humanity’s existence.

“The ultimate purpose of this religion is to have joyous life in this world. This is our purpose,” said Hidetoshi Sasaki, a secretary at the center, which has more than 300 members.

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This post was last updated: Oct. 16, 2010