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The Buddhist Mission Of North America 1898–1942: Religion And Its Social Functions In An Ethnic Community

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Chapter Summary

The role of religious organizations in the lives of immigrants groups is a topic that has a considerable body of scholarship. For the Japanese Americans prior to World War II, one of the important religious organizations was the Buddhist Mission of North America (BMNA). Legally formalized in 1914, the BMNA?s functional formation dates to 1898. That a Buddhist organization would play a vital role in this community is consistent with available statistics on the religious affiliation of its population. Although other sects and schools of Buddhism made some inroads to the United States, this one sect and organization came to establish a significant presence in the Japanese American community. By the beginning of World War II, the BMNA had expanded from the one church in San Francisco to 46 across six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Keywords: Buddhist Mission of North America (BMNA); immigrants groups; Japanese American community; religious organizations



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