Houston's growing Hindu community
July 10th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

In Texas, young Hindus want to Americanize ancient faith

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Houston, Texas (CNN) - In many ways, 29-year-old Rishi Bhutada is a traditional Hindu, not so different from his Indian-born parents.

An officer at his dad’s pipefitting company, Texas-born Bhutada had an arranged marriage in India three years ago and then brought his wife back to his hometown, where they recently welcomed a son.

Bhutada is a strict vegetarian and avoids alcohol, as do many observant Hindus.

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And the dashboard of his Toyota Prius is adorned with a small metal statue of Ganesh, an elephant-headed Hindu god known as the remover of obstacles. Bhutada prays to it each morning before leaving his driveway.

And yet Bhutada is a different kind of Hindu than his mom and dad.

His parents were part of a major wave of Indians who arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s and ’70s and focused their religious lives on building a community of believers and temples around Houston, which was then a Hindu wilderness.

Bhutada, by contrast, wants his religion to step out from that now-well-established Hindu hive to engage the broader culture.

Surprising origins of "Don't Mess with Texas"

Driving to lunch recently at a strip mall Indian buffet, he spoke of trying to forge a distinctly American Hindu identity that’s more tightly woven into the national fabric.

“The immigrant generation is focused on India, on the home country,” he said, noting that the TV in his parents’ house is often turned to a Hindi-language channel beamed in from the subcontinent. “I’m focused on the United States, which is my home country.”

That helps explain why a national group he’s involved with, the Hindu American Foundation, recently launched a Take Back Yoga campaign, aimed at raising awareness about the practice’s Hindu roots and values among non-Hindus.

And it's why Bhutada testified at the Capitol in Austin last year against a statewide school curriculum that calls Hinduism a polytheistic religion, a characterization many Hindus reject.

And it's why one area temple has begun placing copies of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, in thousands of Texas hotel rooms, right next to the Gideon Bible.

The developments speak to a new, publicly assertive stance that’s shared by many first-generation American Hindus across Houston, home to one of the country’s largest and fastest growing Indian enclaves, and by many young Hindus across the nation.

“Our parents had to build everything from scratch to make a united Hindu community in this country,” said Tejas N. Dave, 17, a high school junior who volunteers with a project bringing yoga to unprivileged Americans.

“Now we’re trying to reintegrate it back into society,” he said, “to make people realize that Hinduism is a religion and a way of life and a philosophy that’s not too different from what a lot of others believe. We’re all trying to make a better society.”

Some young Hindus are envious of the attention that American Muslims and Mormons have received in recent years – even if not all of the attention has been positive – and are trying to raise Hinduism’s national profile.

The impulse is not about winning converts. Hinduism, the world’s third-largest religion, doesn’t proselytize.

Rather, many young Hindus say, it’s about making their faith less exotic to others while making it more meaningful to their own modern American lives.

When their parents arrived from India a few decades ago, it was hard enough just being Hindu.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which overhauled the U.S. immigration system by eliminating biases toward European immigrants, among other things, opened American doors to millions of Asian immigrants, including Indians.

Those first arrivals struggled to recreate ethnic and religious networks from back home. When Bhutada’s father, Ramesh Bhutada, arrived in the U.S. in 1968, Houston played host to a single Hindu temple, which had opened earlier that year.

It was a stark change from India, where Hindus can stop into seemingly ubiquitous temples every day for brief visits, helping explain why so many Indians say “Hinduism is a way of life.”

There were more prosaic struggles, too. Many Hindus believe that vegetarianism denotes religious purity and a commitment to nonviolence, but they struggled to maintain that tradition in what was then a very meat-centric American diet.

“There was not even anything like a vegetable burger in those days,” Ramesh Bhutada said.

In those early years, new Hindu arrivals turned their homes into makeshift temples, holding religious education classes for their American-born children.

“There would be kids’ activities in one bedroom and adults in another,” said Dhruval Amin, 28, a Houston-based project manager at an international consulting firm, recalling childhood visits to such homes.

Today, Amin worships at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a sprawling, snow-white temple carved from Italian marble and Turkish limestone that sits on 22 manicured acres in Stafford, just south of Houston.

Opened in 2004, the temple is a proud symbol of the local Hindu community’s growth and prosperity, though it’s a story that’s hardly confined to Houston.

The U.S. Census does not track the number of Hindu Americans; the Census doesn’t ask about religion, period. But data from the 2010 Census show that Texas’ Asian Indian population nearly doubled in size in the past decade, to around 250,000.

Now, for the first time, Indians represent the largest Asian community in the state. Many were drawn by lucrative jobs in Texas’s booming oil, technology and medical sectors.

“A lot of the doctors in small metro markets across Texas are first- or second-generation Indians,” said Ray Perryman, who heads an economic research firm in Waco, Texas. “And the top two or three students in every high school tend to be from some part of Asia.”

Similar trends have emerged in other parts of the country. Nationally, Indian growth has surged by 60% in the past 10 years, according to the Census, with 2.8 million Asian Indians living in the U.S. today.

Indians now represent the country’s second-largest Asian group, after the Chinese.

They’re also among the nation’s most successful ethnic groups, with 71% of Asian Indians earning bachelor’s degrees or higher, compared with 28% of all Americans, according to data from the U.S. Census’s 2009 American Community Survey.

The survey reported that Asian Indians have median household incomes of more than $90,000, compared with $50,000 for all Americans.

Not everyone from that community is Hindu. India’s Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Jain minorities are also represented in the United States.

At a recent yoga class at Houston’s India House, a community center, the instructor was Hindu, and most participants were Indian, but half were Catholic, Methodist or another kind of Christian.

When the instructor, Sarika Phalak, leads open and closing prayers that reference God, she invites participants to speak the name of their own deity. Many say “Jesus.”

Still, Hindu growth around Houston has exploded in recent years, with 19 temples now scattered across the sprawling metropolitan area, most built just in the past decade.

Temple-based Hindu youth camps long ago replaced home-based classes. And several national Hindu organizations now call Houston home.

The city’s Hindu onslaught put Charu Krishna Thammavaram, 28, in closer touch with her religion when she relocated from Lafayette, Louisiana, three years ago.

“I feel like a born-again Hindu now,” said Thammavaram, who works for an India-focused humanitarian group called Ekal Vidyalaya, which is headquartered in Houston.

In Louisiana, the lone “nearby” temple was an hour’s drive from Thammavaram’s home. Here, she had her choice of temples and settled on a Hare Krishna temple after shopping around, just as many Americans of other faiths do.

For many young Hindus, tweaking their religious heritage to make it more relevant has become an important project.

“My parents were just immersed in Hinduism, starting every day with prayer and accepting it without question,” said Kavita Pallod, a native Houstonian and first-generation American who recently graduated college. “But I don’t start my days with prayer. And Hinduism is something I’ve questioned and debated with friends.”

Yet Pallod, 23, has spent a good deal of time thinking about how to apply her faith to her life. “I believe that karma is the principal that guides the universe,” she said, referring to the Hindu concept of cosmic justice. “It’s one of the reasons I joined Teach for America.”

Pallod, who’s training for the teaching program this summer, was speaking at Star Pipe Products, the pipefitting distributor where Rishi Bhutada works and that his father, Ramesh, founded in 1982.

Situated at the end of a bland industrial drive on the city’s west end, the company doubles as a meeting place for local Hindus.

Among its warren of warehouse and offices spaces is a community center where a mural of Swami Vivekananda, a famous 19th-century spiritual leader who introduced the faith to the United States, fills the back wall.

But like the younger Bhutada, Pallod is intent on taking her religion outside officially Hindu spaces. As the president of the Hindus Student Association at the University of Texas at Austin until her graduation in May, she focused on introducing Hinduism to non-Hindu students.

Last spring, her group went all out to get non-Hindus to participate in Holi, a Hindu festival that involves throwing colored powder and water – often at other people – in a playful, rainbow-like spectacle.

“We wanted them to actually experience it themselves as opposed to just sitting there passively,” Pallod said of the event. “We wanted to teach that the colors are all about eliminating differences by making everyone look the same.”

The festival drew about 2,000 people, with many enthusiastically throwing colored powder at one another in the shadow the state Capitol. It was the kind of scene that Indian immigrant parents could have never imagined.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Content Partner • Hinduism • Interfaith issues • Texas

soundoff (2,004 Responses)
  1. Roberta Douglas

    Thank you for this article and the video. I really enjoyed learning a little about the Hindu Temple and faith.
    Best wishes to all. Roberta

    July 10, 2011 at 6:05 am |
  2. ark52

    Nope, I am very much pro AMERICA. I am 59 born and raised in theis country, if whover finds the need to leave their own country, they will not upon GODS earth impose their stuff in the USA. Stay in your own country. Hispanics/Muslims/hindus or whatever in the name of the lord there are, stay in your own country. LEAVE BORN AND BREED AMERICANS ALONE, DO WHAT YOU DO. AMERICANS, we need to take back the USA!!!!!!! Due to the influx of arabs/mexicans/hindues/or whatever the USA is ruined. Barack Hussein Obama? was not a person called hussein that the usa got? HOW ABOUT JOE JONES/ MIKE LONG/SUSAN JOHNSON? But we have hussein/abdulla/chen/and god knows what else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by the way please call me lakesha?

    July 10, 2011 at 5:57 am |
    • Steve

      Huh? The US is as successful as it is _because_ of immigrants from all over the world (including your ancestors by the way).

      July 10, 2011 at 6:04 am |
    • shri

      Ark52 – what in the world do you mean by born and bred american? your born and bred way appears to be that of your European IMMIGRANT ancestors – certainly not according to the founding fathers.. The American way today is more like European IMMIGRANTS -way – not a native to this land we call the USA.. THe way could be different tomorrow and certainly will evolve with respect to the populace. Being hypocritic and denying Hindus the right to assert their religion – although you have all the rights to do so – not a very American way...

      July 10, 2011 at 6:22 am |
    • G R

      JOE JONES/ MIKE LONG/SUSAN JOHNSON?!!! These are American names? Really? Kind of funny for a country that was born based on the eradication of a race and slavery. Take it back? Ha Ha Ha. Sure the natives of this country will welcome it. Of course I guess let bygones be bygones eh? Sure, then let us apply it to the World Wars and everything else in between.
      We as a country are authoritative beggars today. We are bankrupt, both intellectually and fiscally. Take that back, ok? That way at least, we can stop being the laughing stock of the world and a real super power, not just because we have superior weapons.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:34 am |


      For your information, a NATION means a group of people, which can include a person from any country, religion, or culture. Now, if you look at history, the United States was not ours either, we took it from the American Indians, so does that mean that we are imposing our cultures and "stuff" on the American Indians? When I say we, I am including myself and you, regardless of religion (which I am guessing you're a Christian considering you did not put that as an option of your statement). Looking at your theory, this GREAT COUNTRY should be given back to the American Indians and we should ALL move to our European/Asian/South American countries, is that correct? Americans is a NATIONALITY, HISPANICS IS A GROUP OF PEOPLE, Muslims/Hindus/Christians/Jews are religions. Please stop making arrogant comments if you do not know what you are saying. It is offensive to everybody and shows the lack of respect you have for everybody, including yourself. We, regardless of race, culture, religion or place of origin, are Americans. This is what makes America the best country and nation in the world!

      July 10, 2011 at 6:36 am |
    • Meterdome

      Finally...someone else is out there that is getting this right. I thought I was the only one. And guess what they can all go and call us prejudiced all they want. Please do and slam the door when you leave. We will gladly lock it and throw away the keys!

      July 10, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • naeco

      Where are your anscestors from? I'm pretty sure somewhere in Europe. Why don't you go back there?

      July 10, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • madh

      ahem ahem ur imagination is out of control , ur text is worthy of being placed in a toilet paper and not a blog........tell me,are these red americans humans or some ape resembling species?????weren't they here before the so called genuine 100% original americans(english btw) placed foot on american soin???

      July 10, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • madh

      the only way americans glory can be retained is not by accretion of people based on same color and religion but same degree of enlightenment which by far is the highest among americans except ass holes like u

      July 10, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • Katie

      Another stupid redneck posting. Surprised he's smart enough to use a computer.

      July 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  3. American

    most of those Hindu's (Indians) are for some reason arrogant and truly think they are above the rest.
    like cutting in front of the check in line at Airports/stores etc is quite normal for them.
    had more then one problem with them in my weekly travels. at one time my assigned seat in the Aircaft (aisle) was taken by an Indian who told me (not asked) to use the middle row seat.
    if you come to the US, lets try to fit in.
    2 war Veteran

    July 10, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • shri

      oh really? and you complied quietly – wow what a lie... Maybe you were mistaken or twisted the truth the other way around...

      July 10, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • Steve Gastin

      I read that there are 3Million Indians (of india orgin) in the U.S.A. That's 1 out of 100 in an Indian.

      More interesting fact is that, There are 1Million millionaires among 3M ..that's 1 out of 3.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  4. TrackItWilson

    Move all the Pakis and other hate-filled people(can't understand why)on these blogs to Guantanamo Bay. These Hindus never meant you any harm. In these these days of Muslims killing others, Muslim dads chopping off their daughters' heads and bombing cities, have you seen one Indian committing violent crime? America should be afraid of its Muslims but Hindus have been the icon of peace. They have not been given credit for that.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Micah

      Lol, apparently you are not aware of the Hindu extremism that exists in India, and the Muslim villages that were massacred by Hindus back in i think 2002 if I remember correctly. Your probably not aware, either, that Hitler's book is a hot selling item in New Delhi and sells more copies there than anywhere else in the world. The political elements of extremist Hinduism have taken Hitler's book as the model to base their ideology after as well. But its people like you who buy into the stereotype of nirvana this and spiritual that and the idea of the peaceful meditating Hindu sitting on a mountain top, and the stereotype of the arrogant Muslim who wants to kill all the unbelievers because he thinks hes better. You should know that the Hindu religion is more hierarchy based than any religion in the world probably. You should probably be aware that the Brahman class of Hindus can't even re-marry and the divorced or widowed women are treated as second class citizens. India also regularly practices the killing of female babies upon birth; this is unheard of in the Muslim world. I know you don't like to hear that. Hindus have a long way to go also.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • Micah

      Lol, you should read more about the Caste system in India before you go spouting about Hinduism being a symbol of peace. I think your mixing Hinduism and Buddhism up. Do you remember the story about the woman who was thrown into a pit of fire because she was walking down a street that was considered to high-class for her caste level? or how about the hospital signs all over India which advertise "Pay 500 rupees now, save 500,000 later" to get people to pay for abortions of female fetises.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • shri

      Micah – that Gujarat riot was started by Muslims – Muslims perpetreted attacks on Hindus in the past and HIndus of today do not want to sit by idly... That does not make Hindus aggressive – it is a retaliation – aka war on terror that US is undertaking against al Qaeda

      July 10, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • dave

      Did you say hindus are peaceful?? please name a single country which has common borders with india and india lives in peace with them(i.e. china,pakistan,srilanka etc). india was aligned with russia in world issues for the last 60 plus years; but now all of a sudden india is being loved by the west. western media will tell you everything is wonderful about india and hinduism but will never tell you a single thing good about china or islam or pakistan. God bless America and the innocent american people who are kept in dark very well by the media.Thanks.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • Sarka003

      What you complain about are the things that were common a couple of centuries back, not any more. Christianity too went through its medival ages, Islam is going through one.
      And about the killing of muslims, you should have verified your facts. It was a revenge attack for unprovoked Muslims burning 55 Hindu pilgrims alive, that was too much to take for the local people reeling from back to back Islamic terrorist attacks. You should also note that the party leading the national government during the riots lost the elections in-spite of giving impressive economic growth, that was the punishment for not controlling the riots. More than 85% of India is Hindu.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • Uhhh

      shri and Sarka003: really? You claim H1ndus are peaceloving and label your Musl1m brethrens as being in their "medieval ages" while conveniently excusing a massacre of innocent Musl1ms by bl00dthirsty H1ndu mobs? You think by claiming that it was "started by Musl1ms" and that it was OK to massacre INNOCENT men, women and children? Don't you realize all terrorist groups justify their actions by claiming the same, even those oh-so-evil Musl1m extremists you claim to dislike so much? The entire world Musl1m community gets called out for supposedly sitting idly and coming up with justifications for the actions of the extremists among them, yet here you are conveniently doing the very same thing when the extremists happen to be fellow H1ndus. If the situation was reversed (say, western troops occupy H1ndu India and have bombed India routinely in the past few decades, would you be coming up with justifications for H1ndu terrorists who decide to do some revenge attacks in the west?)

      July 10, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Uhhh

      Ah, the old "55 H1ndu pilgrims burnt alive by Musl1ms" claim. I'm sure you can't cite one DEFINITIVE and non-politicized proof of that, and you also forgot to mention that these "pilgrims" were in fact activist cadres of the right-wing H1ndu nationalist party who was in power in Gujarat at the time and ALLOWED the massacre of innocent Musl1m men, women and children to happen since they stood to benefit from inciting flames of hatred? I'm sure there was no conflict of interest during the investigation there (sarcasm here). I'm sure that India has the best and safest train system in the world, and that random accidents which kill hundreds at a time never happen and that no convenient scapegoating of vulnerable minorities ever happen there (more sarcasm here).

      July 10, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  5. Ash

    What is this Americanizing? Nothing.

    Churches in America have community centers where they support local Christians. There is nothing new about a temple doing the same for Hindus and others.

    My god the hate on these posts! We need more Indians as Governors, Senators and Congressmen. They will not be any lesser corrupt than the current White politicians but they can at least change the American mindset of Wars, Wars and more wars and think about the welfare of people in this country.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:45 am |
    • Jake Wheeler

      We need to stop pandering to ethnic colonizers and start looking after Americans who can't find jobs or get medical care. India is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. The reason India is still poor is because Indians don't pay their taxes and instead pay bribes to corrupt officials. India is not a poor country, it's a rich country full of tax evaders. So after taking our jobs through outsourcing and immigration they then turn around and ask for foreign aid to help their poor!

      July 10, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • Steve

      Dude... India receives about $100 million/yr from the US with a population of more than 1 bn while Israel (<8 million people strong) gets more than $3 bn/yr. Might wanna check your facts.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:16 am |
  6. Brian

    America accepts people of all faith. Which we should be grateful. In parts of the world still people are hated for their beliefs. Even today in India being a Christian is not safe.Christains are still being prosecuted and ridiculed because of their faith.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:40 am |
    • Dhayanand


      Is this what you mean?

      July 10, 2011 at 5:49 am |
    • shri

      who told you christians are prosecuted in India? Same evangelists who brutally convert Hindus to CHristianity?

      July 10, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • QED

      I'm pretty sure the hatred for Muslims in this country matches the hatred of Christians in other parts of the world. The difference here is that we'd put you in jail if we caught you burning down a Mosque or killing an Islamic baby. I'm hope you don't really have such a Pollyannaish view of America. America's a great country; but we're not not perfect and our history of religious and ethnic intolerance is as plentiful as the day is long.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • QED

      – not (ignore the double negative)

      July 10, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Christains are still being prosecuted

      So ChristIAns are "prosecuted" in India huh? (They are hauled into courts by prosecutors and charged with being ChristIAn ?) ....... Oh PERsecuted ? Oh, OK. Another product of a US third world school system. OMG. And these people actually vote, and serve on juries.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  7. Jake Wheeler

    The question should be: Why are we letting so many Hindus into the Country? 100,000 Hindus come in every year under the H1B program alone. These so-called skilled workers are often anything but and their real purpose is cheap labor for greedy corporations. Far more Hindus come in as a result of chain migration once their kids have got green cards or naturalization. These are often parents and grand-parents requiring medical care or siblings with no qualifications who end up pumping gas or working at the 7-11. All of this while 10% of Americans can't find jobs.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:33 am |
    • Molly


      My Pastor would love to meet them and show them the right path, we don't want them to end-up in Auschwitz 2.0 or in Hell

      July 10, 2011 at 5:44 am |
    • Steve

      A rather short-sighted statement. Immigrants are on average better educated than the _average_ American; anything that raises the general level of education is a good thing. Please remember that your ancestors once immigrated into the US when there were no doubt people looking for work in the country.

      July 10, 2011 at 5:51 am |
    • John Richardson

      Ah, the great Christian tragicomedy as they set themselves up for a monumental fall with their smug proclamations of their own salvation.

      July 10, 2011 at 5:52 am |
    • A.S.P.

      Ignorance amazes me. There is a segment of the American population that is unwilling to put in the hard work or accept jobs that will get them by and then will blame any immigrant group for taking jobs.

      July 10, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • QED

      @Molly – You had two friends over, "one regular, and one Indian one." It's sad that you don't see how wrong it is to say that. Plus, are you a re†ard? India is in Asia. And she's not African, are we clear? Stop being ethnocentric. All you're doing is making your friend feel bad; that is not what Jesus had in mind. You have a snowball's chance in H-E-double hockey stick of converting her to Christianity. And what's with you can't be around your friend because she's not Christian, that is one of the most unChristian things I've ever heard. You make me embarrassed to be a Christian.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:43 am |
    • QED

      Jake, you're clueless about the H1B program. The program doesn't allow the guest worker's family to stay longer than they do (family is classified as A4 visa holder). And A4 visa holders can't work here, nor can they bring additional family, since only the immediate family of the H1B worker is allowed. And the max is 6 years for the A1b and their immediate family. If you want to have a real conversation on H1B workers you could argue that they're paid substantially less than the fair market wage, and thus it's possible that they are stealing jobs away from citizens. You could even argue that the A1B workers are being exploited by greedy corporations. But the counter argument is that the program is allowed in areas for which there is a job surplus. The bottom line is that racism and xenophobia has no place in an intellectually honest conversation about immigration.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • Junekid

      Hindu folks are not interested in becoming Christians, they are only interested in the American part of it. That is why the articles says American faith and not Christian faith. They want what America has, wealth, power, position, etc..they are not interested in God Almighty and his Son Jesus Christ. They are only interested in camouflaging their faith in their attempt to remain in America to suck it dry of whatever they can for as long as they can (until the light is shone on them). Christians should avoid folks of other faiths as much as possible, unless they are associating with them for the purpose of converting them to Christ, not themselves. This cultural diversity issue was to resolve the racism stemmed from civil rights movements against the black people...not for the tsunami of atheistic faiths to come aboard.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • PJ

      check ur facts buddy – the cap on H1-B is 65k per year, and that is for all countries combined. And did u read in the article that chinese population is more that Indian and obviousy, you may not know, but there are mexicans who also come in US on H1-B, not all are illegal.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • guest

      lol...have you checked the salaries of these "cheap" workers? Here in California, a majority of them make 6 figures. Managers easily do 150k. Further, they have to be paid more than the prevailing wage, or their visa does not get procesed. add in costs of visa processing etc and you have a worker who costs significantly higher than their american counterpart.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  8. Bob K

    Great!! Just be careful though, the next thing you'll see is an triangular orange flag popping up on every fifth mountain in the US designated as a deity place with walking trails of a few kilometers promising bliss, can't imagine what color they'll use for grand canyon mountains 😉

    July 10, 2011 at 5:29 am |
    • PRA

      But it's ok to post the 10 Commandments up in Gov't buildings in a country that's supposed to support Freedom of Religion.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  9. bc49er

    The Christian Taliban are busy posting.

    July 10, 2011 at 5:18 am |
    • John Richardson

      YOU aren't looking too good!

      July 10, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • Meterdome

      God is our Taliban!

      July 10, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  10. Raju kumar

    Dear Dan Gilgoff

    Thank you for writing this its is very good articles.
    Raju Kumar

    July 10, 2011 at 5:10 am |
    • Junekid

      It is an article of great ignorance of God Almighty. Hindus should have interest in converting to Christianity..not Americanization first. You can stay in your own country and become a Christian. You folks are simply trying to get citizenship in the worse kind of way. Thanks..but NO THANKS!

      July 10, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • PRA

      Um JuneKid, trying to get Citizenship in the worst kind of way? You realize that alot of us are born here? And if we're not, we actually have to take a test to get our Citizenship. A test that most of you "REAL AMERICANS" could never pass.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Katie

      Junekid, who are you to tell anyone what GOD they should worship???? I am Christian, but you Christians who think you are the only ones getting into heaven are an embarassment. You are condescending, think you are better than anyone else and are in for a big surprise. Heaven is full of righteous Hindus and Jews, or anyone of any religion who truly loves GOD. YOU will be judged on the way you treat all people of all religions.. Watch your step!

      July 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  11. John


    July 10, 2011 at 5:08 am |
  12. limety

    try finding the humane in yourselves and u will not need to americanize or stretch your groins to fit anywhere in this mortal world among all mortals

    July 10, 2011 at 5:07 am |
  13. Molly


    July 10, 2011 at 5:02 am |
    • matt

      one "regular" friend and an "indian" friend?

      July 10, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • matt

      Molly, You'll find that in life, if something fails to fit into your perception of what it should be, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. it means that your pre-conceptions should be challenged and you will get educated and enlightened. "Dark skin" is not the same as Africa. Did you know that your ancestors too came from Africa?

      July 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • SomeIndian

      ...and you wonder why people outside the US think Americans are idiots. It's the 'whatever" society that is blinded by their upbringing. US parents just don't care what kind of future their kids have(not all, but most obviously). These girls, and they are stupid, think they are smarter than the indian because they are white.....they will not learn until they get older and have their workplace management be non-Americans(brown, black, and all colors in between).

      July 10, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • guest

      I couldnt get past the first 2 minutes of racism displayed here. Questioning people why they are black or brown?? Questioning if you are from Africa or Asia...these kids are so ignorant. We should take the jobs away from them.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Katie

      Who the hell are you to determine whether her choice of religion is "the right path" ??? I couldn't watch more than a few seconds of your arrogant and ignorant video. You must be a Mormon, which to any other Christian is nothing but a cult. Should I tell you what religion to belong to?? You've got alot of nerve, What a condescending kid. Your parents have done a great job brainwashing you.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Paki

      This is seriously funny. Funnier than watching will ferrell

      July 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Jay

      So I guess its them three all by themselves who are pulling the average IQ of Americans to the left.

      July 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Huan

      HA HA HA ...
      This is the most absurd video i have ever seen, but reflects the mentality of I'd say about 90% of conservative americans.
      I think Americans should refrain from abhorrence to very other religion. Especially if the religion is not shoving itself down somebody else's throat unlike some other religions. If Hinduism was wrong, it would not survive the harshest of history for 4000 years and still be the third largest religion of this world.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Molly

    Converting an indian to christianity – don't let the devil win

    July 10, 2011 at 5:01 am |
    • Katie

      The devil is in you, making you think you are better than a non-Christian. GOD loves all who love him. That Hindu person has a much better chance of getting into Heaven than you do because she is not judging you.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  15. Molly

    Converting an indian to christianity – don't let the devil win

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvVAV09-dQ8&w=425&h=349%5D

    July 10, 2011 at 5:00 am |
    • guest

      Molly, people like you go on to make the American version of the taliban. Narrow minded, bigoted, ignorant of anything other than their narrow field of vision.

      July 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  16. Raju kumar

    Mr.Dan Gilgoff
    Good Morning
    Just tell me this when your mom dad came to united state of america, how many church or temple they saw, none if new immigrant people want to live here and want to build temple for there purpose. what is wrong with it.

    July 10, 2011 at 4:58 am |
  17. sapsxy

    CNN has put bit of twisting on its article : "Americanizing the Hindu Faith". I mean,whats there to "Americanize"??
    Some people will always attempt to make more out of something,than it really should be.HIndus in America,and
    their 2nd generation just felt like "building their temples" and recontacting with their "hinduism roots".Thats all.Its very
    difficult of any religion community to always maintain their religious teachings and pass it onto their 2nd generation when they migrate to any country, particularly the west and being in the west,there are too many outside negative
    influences.Hence,any time,any religious community,any person of "god" comes to this realisation,the pull towards their
    faith/religious path also grows stronger,at some point in their existence.

    July 10, 2011 at 4:53 am |
  18. Molly

    Converting an indian to christianity – don't let the devil win


    July 10, 2011 at 4:52 am |
  19. Doug

    So, I don't want to sound like a dick.. But, what part of American is Hindu ? They want me to now give them special treatment right. ... ? I can't.. Sorry, but I can't do that.. Here is how I feel.. All religions need to be taxed for every dime they have, every dime the get and not more free property taxes.. This would balance our budget.. And it would surely shut these haters up once and for all..

    July 10, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Doug

      And yes... I said haters.. They are haters.. What kind of love have you seen from any religion lately ???????

      July 10, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • Katie

      Reread the articfle Doug. They are not asking you for special treatment. And it would seem that ohe only hater here is you.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  20. John


    July 10, 2011 at 4:48 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.