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Buddhists welcomed in Amsterdam

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I hied myself over to Amsterdam yesterday for an open house at what used to be St. Casimir’s Church and is now the Five Buddhas Temple for two reasons, really. One was to see if the xenophobia directed at Muslims has spread to include Chinese Buddhists, and the other was to try to get a handle on what’s going on with these Buddhists anyway, whose presence in Amsterdam I had not previously been aware of. ...

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September 28, 2010
11:56 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]


Thank you for this report, I am a fan of your column. The World Peace and Health Organization has received unwarranted criticism from a faction in Amsterdam that IS Xenophobic. A local AM radio gossip show just added to the negativity. Last week during a public meeting concerning the sale of the former Bacon School building by the Greater Amsterdam School District to the WPHO, they were unfairly heckled with comments like "What the hell are you doing here", "bizarre" and in reference to their religious mission, "Does he(God) talk to you everyday?" This in spite of the fact that the WPHO has held several press conferences and another open house back in July to introduce themselves to the community.

The WPHO purchased two abandoned churches, a warehouse and 48 blighted properties in Amsterdam with plans of restoration for housing. In addition to the dormitory building in Auriesville that currently serves as their living quarters, they are restoring the former Masonic Temple building in Fultonville and a camp in Ephratah. They are investing in our city when no one else will, with plans to open an education and cultural center where Chinese language, customs and even cooking classes will be offered.

This 54 year old second-generation Polish-American did sit cross-legged on the floor of the Amsterdam Best Value Inn for the Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Dharma class and is looking forward to participating in more activities as they are presented.

The WPHO are an exceptional group of dedicated, hard working and friendly people who are very welcome in a city that desperately needs an economic and cultural boost.

Gerald J. Skrocki