Vietnamese Buddhists Come to United States
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When U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, the U.S. government enacted special legislation to allow tens of thousands of refugees to be resettled in America. Like immigrants before them, they brought with them their culture and religious traditions. And one of the strongest faith traditions in South Vietnam was Buddhism.

Awaiting this surge was a Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, Dr. Thich Thien An, who had come to Los Angeles in 1966 to teach at UCLA and stayed at the behest of his new followers. In 1976, he established Chau Vietnam (Vietnam Temple) in Los Angeles.

The influx also led to the establishment of the Congregation of Vietnamese Buddhists in the U.S. By 2000, Vietnamese Buddhists in America numbered about 900,000, with more than 270 temples.
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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


Vietnamese Refugees at a Buddhist service at Camp Pendleton- National Archives and Records Administration

Dr. Thich Thien-An- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Lawrencegrecco (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Garden Grove, California- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Toksave (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Deer Park Monastery- Flickr- photo by miheco (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 2009. Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, Eighth Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.
Tweed, Thomas A. and Stephen Prothero (Eds.), 1999. Asian Religions in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Source(s)
Thich, Quang Minh. 2007. "Vietnamese Buddhism in America." Dissertation, Religion Department, Florida State University.
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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