Buddhist Churches of America
Search Timelines:

Time Period
The Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) traces its roots to the arrival of Japanese immigrants on the West Coast during the late 19th century. These adherents of Jodo Shinshu, or Shin Buddhism, opened their first temples in San Francisco.

In 1914, as more and more Japanese American temples opened in the U.S., the Buddhist Mission of North America (BMNA) was formalized as an umbrella network. In 1944, the BMNA changed its name to the Buddhist Churches of America. Its goal: establish an American Buddhism that would take its place alongside other faiths in the U.S. Using the word "churches" drew criticism from some Buddhist leaders for mimicking Christian terminology.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the BCA currently has more than 60 independent temples with 16,000 members.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Buddhist


Buddhist Church of San Francisco- Hathi Trust- from Woman's Work, vol 36 (1921)

Buddhist Church of Lodi, a BCA temple- Flickr- photo by Michael Hicks (CC BY 2.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Tweed, Thomas A. and Stephen Prothero (Eds.), 1999. Asian Religions in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Source(s)
Buddhist Churches of America website
Numrich, Paul David (Ed.). 2008. North American Buddhists in Social Context. Boston: Brill.
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Bookmark and Share