Nationality vs Religious Beliefs

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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.

Works Cited:

http://www.migrationinformation.org/usfocus/print.cfm?ID=687

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/hindu-immigrants-to-us-doubled-in-last-decade-reveals-survey/article4730499.ece?css=print

http://www.hafsite.org/resources/hinduism_101/hinduism_demographics

http://religiondilama.blogspot.com/2009/04/when-did-hinduism-begin.htmlw

7 responses to “Nationality vs Religious Beliefs

  1. How enlightening! I agree that it is important to highlight the religious struggles minorities face! It can help gain a better understanding of their lives and promote dialogue as you mentioned!

  2. I find the relation between religion and immigration very insightful. I do wonder what type of discriminatory actions Hindu’s face. You do state that “we must recognize the danger of our silence and how its ability to render them invisible”. How do you propose we raise the awareness of these mis-represented individuals? Can we be there ally?

  3. The correlation between immigration and religion was something that I had not considered. Your organization made it easy for me to read and comprehend your message. All of your statistics were useful in some way. Going off of what Christian said, what has the United States recently done to lessen the silence and what what can the United States do to be more aware of these groups of individuals?

  4. As Maldonador stated, this article was extremely enlightening because I had never considered current events surrounding the relationship between religion and immigration. The organization made the article flow and easy to comprehend. All of the statistics were useful in some way and not added for fluff purposes. Going off of what Christian said, what has the United States done to stop the silence and what can the United States to raise awareness?

  5. I never considered the implications that religious identification has on immigration. This is a very interesting topic and I really liked how you added the statistics which really show the number of Hindus in America and where they come from. I think this topic is overlooked a lot and I think this post does justice to religious identification as a factor for immigration

  6. In a world that is becoming more globalized, it would be wise for our history classes to cover more religions than just Christianity. Considering that India is part of BRICS and that it has been experiencing explosive economic growth in just the last decade, it would make sense for Americans to learn more about their culture. One of the key ways would be to learn more about Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, and Jainism.

  7. This post offers great insight into a perspective that is too often overlooked, that of considering the religious values of immigrants. When we think of integration, or even assimilation, of immigrants into American society, we think of how best to combine non-native cultural practices with widely accepted American cultural phenomenons. However, we rarely consider what sort of effect religion has on alienating or uniting an immigrant population with the American population. As you noted very wisely, the HIndu religion is often overlooked as invisible in comparison to other immigrant religions, and it is important to consider the consequences of not caring about the Indian population religious contributions and only caring for their economic contributions.

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