Source: Union City Reporter
On September 14, 2003 Union City Reporter reported that "traffic came to a standstill at the sight of hundreds of brightly-dressed people of Indian decent congregated on the sidewalk in front of the City Limits Hall" for a celebration of a local sect of Indian people who adhere to the religion of Jainism. There are, according to Hudson County Jain spokesperson Divyesh Shah, approximately 300 families who subscribe to the Jain religion in Hudson County. And being that Hudson County is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse counties in the United States, the Hudson County followers of Jainism wish to make their presence felt in the community at large. According to Divyesh Shah, only about 2 percent of the population of India adheres to the Jain faith. The rest practice Hinduism or various forms of Islam. That puts the United States followers of Jainism at a crossroads. One one hand, they are comparatively isolated, even from their Hindu brethren, but at the same time, they are in a unique position to make significant inroads into getting their message of compassion and non-violence out into a world that needs it.