Eastern Religions Make a Home in Braintree

February 12, 2006

Source: The Boston Globe


On February 12, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, "The Bode Buddhist Meditation Center may seem like a lone, unlikely Buddhist outpost in the midst of Brai ntree's anything-but-Zen traffic snarls, thriving office parks, and predominantly white population. But it's not as much of an aberraton as one might think. Just a few minutes away are two other temples. Chinese Taoists gather at the Tian Ann Temple on Hayward Street, and chanting fills the Samantabhadra Buddhist Center on Quincy Avenue.

The three temples -- which attract immigrant worshippers from Boston and from communities north, south, and west of the city -- make Braintree something of an Eastern religion hotspot... Over the past few decades, many Asians moved out of crowded, expensive Chinatown to Quincy, where about a fifth of the population is Asian. As that city has been built out and prices have risen, the Asian population -- like other immigrant communities -- has sought houses, businesses, and places of worship in nearby suburban areas with lower real estate costs, said John Brothers, executive director of Quincy Asian Resources, a nonprofit organization that helps link the Asian community with other services... It's not uncommon for immigrants to drive long distances to reach their spiritual community, said Grove Harris, managing director of the Pluralism Project, a Harvard University research project that examines religious diversity in the United States. Braintree, which sits at the end of the Red Line and at the nexus of several major highways, seems an obvious choice to draw from a large geographic area."