Viriginia, Dec. 26, 2018: The Ahmedabad-based Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan has bought a 30-year-old church in Portsmouth of Virginia, United States, and plans to convert it into a Swaminarayan temple.
According to reports, the Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan has already converted eight churches across the world into Hindu temples. Five of them are in the US. The temple trust has converted churches in California, Louisville, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Ohio in the US. Two churches, one in London and another near Bolton in Manchester, UK have also been converted into Hindu temples.
The Portsmouth church will be the sixth church in the US to be converted into a Hindu temple by Swaminarayan Sansthan. It is reported that the Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan has also acquired a 125-year-old property in Toronto, Canada to build another temple.
Bhagwatpriyadas Swami, mahant of the Sansthan said, “It is under the guidance of our spiritual head Purshottampriyadas Swami that 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.”
The state of Virginia has a population of more than 10,000 Gujaratis and this may offer so many Hindus an opportunity to practice their faith in the United States. The soon to be ‘converted’ church is spread over five acres with the building is 18,000 square feet and can accommodate 150 four-wheelers. The church was bought at an estimated cost of $ 1.6 million (Rs 11.22 crores).