When thinking about the topic of immigration, most people split up groups of people based on their nationality. However, religious immigration has gone on for hundreds of years. From the Israelites taking refuge in the hostile lands of Egypt to the more recent Buddhist monks in Tibet immigrating to India. Another, more modern, example of religious immigration can be found in Hindi immigration to the United States.
Hinduism, the third largest religion in the world, behind Islam and Christianity, began around 3,000 BC in India. The major world religion teaches about spiritual liberation, or Moksha, which can be achieved through living a life full of love and compassion towards everything. Hindus believe that the world we know does not actually exist, what we perceive is just an illusion, this idea is referred to as maya. Today, most Hindus reside in India, however, some Hindus have migrated to the United States to create a better life for themselves.
In the United State alone, there are 2.29 million Hindus. The amount of Hindus that have immigrated to the United States of America has doubled in the last decade mainly due to the rise of tech jobs, especially in California, which attract Indian workers. This change in the number of Hindus in the United States has helped create a diverse religious community, as well as promote interfaith dialogue.
Out of all the Hindus currently living in America, 96% of them were born outside of the United States, 87% of these were born in India. The other Hindus that live in America came from smaller Asian countries such as, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Caribbean Islands. Supplementary to Hindu immigration, Sikhs and Jains have also traveled to America in search of a better life. Yet, although they represent a large portion of our immigrant population, their narratives remain largely overlooked. As they enter our nation and become economic and cultural contributors, we must recognize the danger of our silence and how its ability to render them invisible.