Immigrant Children Learning about their Roots in Church

August 3, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

On August 3, 2003 The Washington Post reported that "many non-Christian immigrants are keeping their religions alive in America by looking to an unlikely place: church. In some cases, such as the Chinmaya Mission, stories and songs might be infused with Christian teachings and concepts. In other examples from Buddhist temples to Sikh gurdwaras, immigrant congregations hold Sunday school, summer camps, discussion groups and singing practice -- activities often unheard of in their homelands. And many communities' efforts begin with educational programs for children that later grow to encompass families... At Camp Gurmat, a weeklong retreat for Sikh youth in a woodsy area in Silver Spring, young worshipers spend days and nights learning about Sikh history, identity and scriptures. But much of the program is devoted to helping children navigate their place in the United States... At some places of worship, such as the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Sterling, the system lends itself to diversity in leadership -- its vice president is a woman -- and it elects its board of directors and executive committee."