Influx of Asians Brings Increasing Numbers of Buddhists

June 30, 2005

Source: Pacific News Service

On June 30, 2005 Pacific News Service reported, "In West Sydney, the smoke one sees drifting over from a neighbor’s fence may not be the shrimp sizzling on the old barbie, but drifting incense. Buddhism is rising fast here in the land Down Under, and is now the second-largest religion after Christianity. Immigrants can constitute up to half of the population in certain West Sydney districts. Citywide, more than 50 temples dot the landscape, and in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, there are more than 150. They range from the enormous Chinese Mingyue temple that sits on three acres to the tiny, converted private residence that is now the Vietnamese Thien Hoa Nunnery. Buddhism is changing a country whose compass had once steadfastly pointed toward Europe...Buddhism is an inevitable outcome of the demographic shift. Yet, not all is well in the country whose favorite line is 'No worries, mate!' Fear of Asianization has caused some political leaders to have second thoughts about Australian hospitality toward Asia, and hate crimes are not unknown here."