First Buddhist Temple Opens in Nicosia, to Serve Sri Lankan Population

July 17, 2005

Source: Cyprus Mail

On July 17, 2005 the Cyprus Mail reported, "Last Sunday saw the official opening of the first Buddhist Temple in Nicosia, finally providing a place of worship for a huge number of foreign workers in Cyprus who follow the eastern religion... Bhante (Brother) Anavaddha Tuero a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, travelled from Switzerland where he has lived since 2000, to inaugurate the Nicosia centre last weekend. He said that although he himself would be returning to Switzerland, two monks from Sri Lanka would be taking up residence on the island to guide the faithful... He estimated that out of the 15,000 Sri Lankan people living and working in Cyprus some 86 per cent are Buddhists. 'Most have Bible because they lost something and they are looking for it somewhere else, which is normal,' he added, referring to those who use the Catholic Church as a substitute. 'Now the Buddhists have organised here. They used to meet in the park once a month. They became organised and opened a centre and now the temple... ' said Bhante Anavaddha. 'On Tuesday we had 76 people for the evening service.'"