A Seat at the Table

(Harmonist) – April 10th, 2023 |
by Harmonist staff

By Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton, originally published at Religion News Service.

(RNS) — Eighty-seven percent of Hindus in the United States today are immigrants. A striking 62% are male, suggesting that many families in South Asia, where Hinduism is geographically and historically rooted, are first sending men of working age abroad in search of opportunity and only later send over other relatives.

It’s a familiar picture of American immigration, with newcomers embracing the comforts of the religion they brought with them, even as they strive to integrate themselves into their new home. Hindus, like other non-Christian groups especially, have typically tended to limit expressions of faith to their home life and their neighborhood temples.

But a rising cohort of Hindu leaders is becoming more public about its spirituality. Inspired by the Hindu concept of “seva” — selfless service — they are organizing themselves and seeking common ground with believers in other South Asian traditions, such as Sikhism and Buddhism, to contribute to their communities. And increasingly they are taking part in national public policy conversations.

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