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. winston fifi

    I am a Catholic immigrant and for 30 years have not changed one iota of my religious practices why should Hindus?

    July 10, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • PRA

      How refreshing...there are intelligent people here!

      July 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • guest

      I am Hindu. Completely second that.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  2. greywarden

    I normally use the quran papers to eat pork rolls, yum yum!!

    July 10, 2011 at 7:31 am |
    • Sharon

      !. the Quran is a muslim text, not Hind.i 2. Humankind is diverse, get over it.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Dan

      Ladies and gentlemen, a perfect example of the lack of education pervasive in our society, and why a mind is a terrible thing to waste – can't even get the insult right by mixing up the religions!

      July 10, 2011 at 7:49 am |
    • sevres Blue

      And a Hindu would care about this... why?

      July 10, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Jeff Orlando

      Wow. Proud of ignorance?

      July 10, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  3. Rob

    For those who want to play the my religion is better (or righter {made up word}) than yours. Whose to say that God isn't powerful enough to have made multiple religions? I mean after all he/she is God.

    July 10, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • QED

      Rob – ask any of these fanatics if they know the mind of God. If they answer in the affirmative, they're being blasphemous. If they answer in the negative, they should reserve judgment and quiet their tongues. We're all mortal people with feet of clay (so to speak) with no insight into God's design. To unravel the meaning behind God's will would be a divine act... and we all know what happened to Lucifer when he wanted to exalt himself above God... that's right, H-E-double hockey stick... FOR ETERNITY! 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Nick

      I like your open-minded comment 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • christopher kenna

      As a convert to Hinduism let me assure you that we threaten no one. All religions have their root in Hinduism. Our love and
      respect for Jesus and Buddha actually exceed that of the Christian and Buddhist faiths. We regard them as full incarnations of God himself. Anyone interested in understanding should read The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. It will not only teach you about our faith but better explain yours as well.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Tolerance

      QED, your opinion although likely consistent with most Christians, seems contradicted by the biblical passages "Be still and know that I am God" and "The kingdom of God is within you"...

      July 10, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • QED

      @Tolerance – The Bible, by definition, is inspired by God, and written and interpreted by mortals. Hence, no matter what is contained in the Bible, and no matter how many times you read and reinterpret it, there is no certainty for you in the knowledge of God's plan. Again, to claim to know God's mind is blasphemous. And citing scripture for personal glory and to make esoteric points to satisfy your ego is tantamount to taking God's name in vain.

      July 10, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • Tolerance

      Irony in that in the first part of your response you imply that there is no certainty of the mind of God and in the second half you assert that very certainty by stating that God would find it distasteful if a human, or a "son of God" would claim to know his/her fathers' mind...

      July 11, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  4. Fred Goepfert

    As usual, the Liberal media CNN finds joy in any faith except Christianity, which it is obviously trying to have replaced.
    What's next in this series, The Joys Of Humanism?

    July 10, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Moron. Accept and celebrate our first amendment or move to China. I honestly prefer the latter.
      We have enough stupid people already.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • rsps

      Hello, you need reading comprehension skills!
      This article wasn't 'celebrating' Hinduism but giving a description of Indian immigrants struggle to build a structure for their old culture here in their new country.
      The same could have been written of any ethnic group, of any religion. Do you have some particular discomfort or fear of 'celebrating' people of other cultures or other faiths? Does acknowledging their joys and successes and even their beauty threaten your understanding of your faith and yourself?

      July 10, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • sevres Blue

      Just wondering how a person comes to have such a closed mind. Are you afraid of what would happen if you just let everyone else live their lives? Do you fear that your 'way' is really shallow and cannot withstand other people's influence? Were you abused as a child? Seriously, you seem the most unhappy of people.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • jasonda

      You're right. I'm not Christian by any means, but it is true that CNN and the rest of the media loves any religion besides Christianity. The belittle, demean and ridicule Christianity while heralding the merits of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

      July 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • El Kababa

      That's silly. CNN has a whole section on faith. You Christians are a mean-spirited bunch.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  5. Rob

    “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.”

    I wish all immigrants took this approach. When you move (immigrate) permanently to a new country you leave the old country behind, you still remain connected but you assimilate into your new country not try to turn it into another version of your old country. I guess some people get it and some don't.

    July 10, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Yeah, those Italians shouldn't have had Roman Catholic cathedrals built, they should have gone to the protestant churches, huh?

      July 10, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • PlayNice

      This is generally what happens in the second and third generations. In fact, the kids quite often become embarrassed by their parents "old country" ways in front of their new, American friends.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • rsps

      Most ethnic groups that came here were not able to do that for at least a few generations. The Irish that I know from the Boston area to this day have never left their 'home country' behind. And funny enough, no one complains about that (or the illegal Irish immigrants that have been coming through that area for years/generations.) Why? Because they are white. The only time people demand that a new immigrant leave their 'culture' and their 'home country' behind is when they are ethnic looking and don't come from an English speaking country. Why do you think there a places in NYC like 'Little Italy' 'China town' or in Pittsburgh "Polish Hill"? Because it is normal, natural for ethnic groups to want to be around people like them, with their cultural references and language. It has never threatened our existence as a melting pot. It does give character to a place though.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  6. AHindu

    Someone said ..
    Jesus died for sins of humanity .. i will correct that statement ..

    with all respect jesus died for sins of sinners so all ppl who converted to christianity were sinners and need of jesus, which means christian are the gravest sinners of earth and also flesh eaters .. they eat flesh of christ and blood of christ .. and love eating flesh of two hoofed animals bcos your god said so .. so sure all flesh eaters are sinners .. hindus dont eat flesh or blood bcos it causes violence to a living thing (sinning) ..@metrodome

    July 10, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  7. AvdBerg

    Neither is there any salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus Christ) under heaven, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    For there is one God, and one mediator men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

    The most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48; 17:24).

    For a better understanding of the above scriptural references we invite you to read the article Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You? listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    July 10, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • Wzrd1

      As this is about Hindus and you denigrate their guaranteed under the first amendment right to freedom of religion, I can only say to you this:
      Go to hell, directly to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.

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


      July 10, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Jeff Orlando

      ...and in the United States, you have the right to freely broadcast that message just as the American Hindu has the right to pray to Ganesh every morning.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • News Flash

      Mr. Berg,
      I know of a good gastroenterologist that would likely be able to get that stick out of your ass.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • AvdBerg

      All we did bring scriptural (spiritual) truth which the world cannot receive (John 14:17). It is amazing how the people of this world react when you apply and use them properly (Matthew 5:10-12).

      July 10, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  8. Rob

    Hinduism is the most tolerent religion. It has no problem with Christianity. But has problems with Extremists like Muslims.

    July 10, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Indianamerican

      I disagree that hinduism is the most tolerant religion. Just look into Gujarat, India!

      July 10, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • GREG

      Anyone that has ever been to India can tell you firsthand, the intolerance, corruption, and stupidity of this religion; any religion that practices, by design, in-equality of man by virtue of a caste society, is in itself is corrupt at its roots. Walk around in their cities and you will soon see the fruits of their religion. As how women and children are dealt with when a father passes; how do the upper caste treat those they deem unworthy. Why do rats run rampant? Why is disease so prevalent there?

      July 10, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • PRA

      Extremist anyone have a problems with each others religions, the rest of us get along just fine.

      July 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • SeeBee

      Saying Hinduism is responsible for corruption is saying Christianity is responsible for serial killers ! Is every shortcoming of socierty the responsibility of religion ?

      July 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • HINAL

      Mr Indianamerica..the riots in Gujarat was started due to...well let me explain...a fanatic Muslim burned innocent worshipper in train....so my saying is if u cant handle pressure dont start...because people can only take so much....

      July 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  9. universe

    The Devil is Dancing!!!

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

      Is that you, Nancy Grace 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • JustPlainJoe

      There is no devil. There is only your own fears and ignorance. Grow into adulthood and face the foolishness of your own fears.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • Wzrd1

      OK, JUST for you, we shall have a fine const itution burning this afternoon in DC. ALL COPIES of ALL amendments shall be burned, all books mentioning them shall be burned. All people mentioning them shall be burned.

      -The Emperor

      July 10, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Jeff Orlando

      Is he dancing because he obviously has one more ignorant soul posting on CNN? Every non-violent religion (including non violent sects of Christianity) have the right to worship freely in AMERICA! And that is without your approval and intimate knowledge of the mind of God and Satan. Geez.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  10. Sriram

    When talking about Hinduism, there is altogether too much emphasis on temples and deities. The base of Hinduism is Self Realization.......realizing ones own inner divine self. Worship of deities is just one method of achieving this. Hindus in America need to teach and focus more on this.

    July 10, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  11. Sriram

    Hindus will not Americanise Hinduism......they will Hinduise America....which is a good thing. Already, many Hindu concepts like Karma, Reincarnation, Avatar etc. are part of American life besides Yoga and Meditations. Way to go!

    July 10, 2011 at 6:53 am |
    • Chetan

      Thank you SriRam. people, including many or may be most hindu, do not know this basic from "Hinduism" (Sanatan Dharma).

      July 10, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  12. Meterdome

    There is faith in God Almighty and his Son Jesus Christ. That faith is called Christianity. Learn Christianity, not American faith, simply because so many Americans, depending on whom you ask, have it all wrong!

    July 10, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  13. Steve Gastin

    Nearly 3Million Indians (of india orgin) in the U.S.A. That's 1 out of 100 in an Indian.

    There are 1Million millionaires among 3Million ..that's 1 out of 3. Can we learn from them or we are just too arrogant to learn.

    21% of the doctors in the U.S are from India. If you take out top 50 metro areas, that number jumps to 54%.. they serve our communities where we chose not to serve.

    July 10, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • Meterdome

      You obviously are a respector of persons and wealth, fame and fortune, not God. Regardless of how many are this or that..if their faith is wrong, so are they. I would rather be a poor Christian, than a rich person of the wrong faith..particularly since all wealth is from God and there are many riches in heaven! More than you can count on all your hands and toes Mr. Gastin.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • Steve

      So Meterdome, as someone who doesn't adhere to any religion and observes all religions with both curiosity and respect, how exactly does one decide which one is 'right'? If you go by which one was first, obviously many South and East Asian religions would win over the hodge-podge of Protestant faiths (persecuted and declared 'wrong' by the Catholic church for many centuries by the way) that is American mainstream Christianity.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • Jake Wheeler

      It's outrageous that wealthy foreigners can buy their way into our medical schools while poor Americans can't afford the fees. Any foreigner attending US college should pay a tax which funds scholarships for poor Americans.

      BTW – there are so many Indian millionaires because of all the federal and state contracts they get under affirmativ-action laws designed to help poor blacks but instead only help rich Indians.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • AJ

      buddy, affirmative action works against indians, they are not included and because they are overrepresented in universities- they actually are disadvantaged. Also most indians came here with much less than poor americans have now, other than willingness to work hard, it paid off. Even if you believe that mass amounts of people are "buying" there way through medical school somehow, its not getting in, its getting out thats the toughest part.

      July 10, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Katie

      Meterdome, who are you to judge what religion is wrong???? GOD alone has that right. The arrogance of some of you "Christians" amazes me.

      July 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  14. AHindu

    Let me tell you .. the faiths of the eatrh based on two categories .. faith based on dharma (According to hinduism, buddhism, sikhism, jainism – all follow and uses the word dharma – meaning divine law) and abrahmic faiths (are jews/xtians/muslims),
    they believe in the same god, they are all ok with taking life for their own survival, and all are warlike ..

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

      There is also Christianity, the only TRUE faith, which you seem to accidently on purpose leave out.

      July 10, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • AHindu

      i didnot forget christians , if youread carefully , i wrote Xtian = meaning X(cross + tian) = christian .. so jews/christian and muslim are all true abrahmic faiths .. each claim about their onlyness .. hinduism doesnot make any such claim .. it only says one should live his life intune with dharma .. never to be reborn .. again .. on earth and be with almighty ..

      July 10, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • QED

      AHindu, let me apologize for Meterdome... he's a complete lunatic and has no control over his bodily functions much less his mouth and fingers.

      Hindu's rock!

      Btw, I'm a Christian.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:13 am |
  15. AHindu

    Also, sikhism, janism, buddhism dont believe in vedas as devine books .. ony hindus brlieve in vedas as books .. jain believe in mahavira as their god, abd buddhists believe in buddha as their god.. sikhs dont belive in hindu books vedas, but believe in hindu god ram and krishna ..

    July 10, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • AHindu

      But all believe in dharma ..

      July 10, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Meterdome

      Who cares about what other faiths and what they believe in. It is like you telling me what is in a cupcake that I dont particularly like or care to like or have any interest in, but yet you are obsessed with the cupcake yourself..meaning, YOU are obsessed with all these different false cultish faiths. There is only one true living God and that is God Almighty in Heaven and he has a son named Jesus that died for all our sins whether we acknowledge it or not through atheism..which is what any and all other faiths are! Atheism!

      July 10, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • AHindu

      jesus died for sins of christians, which means christian are the gravest sinners of earth and also flesh eaters .. they eat flesh of christ and blood of christ .. and love eating flesh of two hoofed animals bcos your god said so .. so sure all flesh eaters are sinners .. hindus dont eat flesh or blood bcos it causes violence to a living thing (sinning) ..

      July 10, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • naeco

      @Meterdome. You are protestant. You are an apostate. You belong to a false, cultish "faith". Protestants are obsessed by wealth. You are the pot calling the kettle black. Repent. Repent. Repent.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • Liz

      Closed minded much Meterdome?

      It's great that you are THE best Christian around, but have you ever stopped to think the world is filled with more than one religion that is just as real as yours?

      July 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Katie

      Meterdome, once again you show your ignorance. "Who cares about what other faiths and what they believe in". If you don'r care, than don't read this article and don't post here. That is what is wrong with alot of Americans and Christians. They are ignorant of other cultures and as a result think they are better. Well, guess what ?? You are NOT. You look like fools!

      July 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  16. El Kababa

    A 21st century religion would omit any reference to gods or the supernatural. It would be a secular moral code. Instead of praying before you leave the driveway, you should use your seat belt and drive carefully. Hinduism is a little less nutty than Christianity, but not by much.

    July 10, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  17. QED

    Why should they Americanize their faith. GEEZUS! What is wrong with America? Why do we keep forgetting about the 1st Amendment?

    July 10, 2011 at 6:27 am |
    • Meterdome

      Its not Americanizing...it should be correcting their faith to Christianity. Most foreigners run to Catholocism as their first choice, simply because people of denomination tend to appear to be wealthy and the church also gives that appearance. They do not realize that Catholocism is a false religion and only a cult which delves into idolatry of statues, which God hates. Foreigners usually run blindly to it, seeking not redemption, but monetary gain first and foremost. Its jumping from the pan into the fire!

      July 10, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • QED

      Saying "God hates" (as you did) is a prime example of taking the Lord's name in vain.

      July 10, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  18. atmospheric

    'Darshan' is a photo project that aims to photographically recreate 9 classical images of gods and goddesses pivotal to mythological stories in Hinduism by photographer Manjari Sharma.
    To find out more please visit:


    July 10, 2011 at 6:17 am |
  19. atmospheric

    Here's a photo project exploring the Hindu faith: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/637783296/darshan-photographic-series-on-indian-deities

    July 10, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  20. limety

    im sorry i shd' have been more polite.

    July 10, 2011 at 6:06 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.