Pho Minh Buddhist Temple Opens in Indiana in Former Methodist Church

The inauguration of Buddhist Pho Minh temple in Indiana was held earlier this week.

The ninth Buddhist temple in Indiana was inaugurated on Sunday amidst the chanting of Buddhist verses, drums and traditional dances in Anderson, Indiana. The temple has been named as the ‘Pho Minh’ after an ancient Buddhist temple in Vietnam that was built in the 13th century. The temple has been built by the support and patronage of local Vietnamese Buddhists.

The temple, which was once a Methodist church, will have a monastery attached as well. The temple will cater to the spiritual needs of Buddhists from Fort Wayne, Carmel, Muncie, Fishers and Anderson itself. Indiana has about 650 Buddhists.

Founding member of the Pho Minh Anderson temple, Diep Laughlin, said the temple is a dream come true for the California-based reverend. Rev. Anna Dao had purchased the property for more than $200,000 at the Madison County Sheriff’s auction in 2015. However, the manager of Bloomington’s Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Dhondrup Tsering, is doubtful whether the Buddhist temple will be able to manage economically. Tsering believes that running a temple can be an expensive affair. Pointing out to the fact that temples run on the donations given by the Buddhist faithful, there aren’t enough Buddhists in Indiana to support the temple. The temple is going to run on funds generated by the sale of vegetarian food. To what extent this would suffice to run the temple and carry out the periodical expenses is another worry Tsering has expressed.

The temple at Bloomington itself is facing economic difficulties. Tsering says the vastness of the property, huge number of buildings, and few actual members is causing a huge financial stress on their center. The temple is running on the money from the rent they collect by letting out commercial spaces, and a shop as well.

The inauguration of the temple signifies the acceptance and support that the state extends to different cultures. The temple itself will be a meeting point for Buddhists from the various parts of America and act as a cultural center for the community.

Diep’s husband Larry Laughlin said, the temple will be conducting regular services in English and Vietnamese. 

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