Hinduism Poorly Understood in America, Survey Shows

August 18, 2001

Source: The Washington Post


On August 18, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "in a new survey of Americans' attitudes about Hindus, 666  people – two-thirds of those surveyed – said they have no familiarity with Hindu beliefs and practices...Members of the Hindu Leaders Forum...commissioned the survey...The Embassy of India estimates that 90 percent of [America's] 1.5 million Asian Indians are Hindu. About 88,000 Asian Indians -- about 79,000 Hindus -- live in the Washington-Baltimore area...To further understanding by people of other faiths and foster pride among Hindus, the forum has begun a 38-country, 47-city yaatra, or pilgrimage, to spread the message that 'the world is one family.'...Most Indians...have not experienced the kind of job discrimination faced by many immigrants...But negative attitudes [and misconceptions] about Hinduism persist...Opportunities to learn about Hinduism occur at a dozen Hindu temples in the Washington area."