Buddhists have been in Utah for a century, yet we haven’t heard a peep about them, no terrorist threats or acts, no mega-temples designed to intimidate everyone, no advocates infiltrating our governments and law agencies, no clamoring to destroy our federal government and replace it with their own religious order. There is no Buddhist shrieking about victimhood and “Buddhismophobia,” no Buddhist thugs in the streets bullying nonbelievers, and no Buddhist families murdering their daughters for becoming “Westernized.”
Here we discover the behavior of people who actually DO follow a religion peacefully and with class.
A few decades after Mormon pioneers fled religious persecution and settled in Utah, another group arrived to seek work while holding strong to its ancient beliefs.
Buddhism arrived with the Japanese railroad laborers, the miners and the farmers. Far from home, Japanese immigrants clung to their culture and their faith.
By 1912, small groups of believers following the Jodo Shinshu branch of Buddhism began holding services in their homes. As the groups in Ogden, Salt Lake, Corinne and Honeyville grew, they rented spaces until the members could raise the funds to build their own temples and meeting houses.
This year, Buddhists marked a century of faith in Utah, and celebrated with a conference, “Walking the Path of Enlightenment.”…