Hindu Americans face challenges, growth in following their faith

The biggest challenge, they said, is transmitting faith from immigrants, most of whom grew up in predominantly Hindu India, to their children, who are growing up in a predominantly Christian society.

Temples are launching religious education programs, modeled after those in churches and synagogues, but Anantanand Rambachan said there are other issues – for example, Hindus will have to decide what language to use for worship, and, he asked, “can we visualize English being a liturgical language for Hindus?’’

He called Hinduism “the least understood among American religious traditions,’’ noting that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam “are all suspicious about imaging the divine’’ and emphasize the oneness of God, whereas Hinduism offers a plethora of iconography and “celebrates a multiplicity of divine names and forms.’’

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This post was last updated: Sep. 24, 2009