30-year-old US church to be converted into temple


December 24, 2018


A 30-year-old church in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the US has been bought to be converted into a Swaminarayan Hindu temple.
It is the sixth church in the US and the ninth across the world to be turned into a Swaminarayan temple by Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan based in Ahmedabad.
AHMEDABAD: A 30-year-old church in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the US has been bought to be converted into a Swaminarayan Hindu temple. The pran pratistha (consecration) ceremony for the idols will be done once the church is revamped as a temple.
It is the sixth church in the US and the ninth across the world to be turned into a Swaminarayan temple by Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan based in Maninagar, Ahmedabad.
Apart from Virginia, churches in California, Luiseville, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Ohio in the US have been transformed into temples by the sect. Similarly in the UK, two churches have been coverted into temples in London and Bolton near Manchester. The sect has also acquired a 125-year-old property in Toronto, Canada.
Bhagwatpriyadas Swami, the mahant of the sansthan, told TOI that under the guidance of Purshottampriyadas Swami, the spiritual head of the sansthan, the 30-year-old church was acquired to be refurbished into a Swaminarayan temple.
“Not many changes would be mandated in the church at Portsmouth, as it was already a spiritual place of another faith. This would be the first temple for Haribhakts in Virginia,” Bhagwatpriyadas Swami said.
The Swaminarayan temple sources said that Virginia has an estimated population of 10,000 Gujaratis, mainly hailing from North Gujarat, Charotar in Central Gujarat and Kutch. The church is spread over five acres with 18,000 sq feet built up. It has a large parking place that can accommodate 150 four-wheelers. The church was bought at an estimated cost of $ 1.6 million.

Source : Times of India



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