A New Religious Landscape in Lehigh Valley, PA

December 22, 2003

Source: The Morning Call


On December 22, 2003 The Morning Call reported on the increased religious diversity in Lehigh Valley, noting that practitioners of India's four major faiths — Hinduism, Jain, Sikh and Buddhism all share a temple in Hanover Township, Northampton County. The shared use of sacred space is "an amazingly successful experiment in ecumenism" which offers a cohesion that practitioners of the four faiths don't find in their native land. The Al Ahad Islamic Center for Shiite Muslims opened earlier this year, the Hindu Shree Swaninaryan Spiritual and Cultural Center opened in the spring, and St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church hopes to soon build a $5 million complex. Many of the new religions come from Middle Eastern or Asian roots.