A year ago, there were only four Hindu temples in the country, but that number is now more than 100.
That’s thanks in part to a number of initiatives in the state.
On Jan. 1, lawmakers approved a law that requires all new temples in states that have not already done so to be 100 percent Hindu.
It also requires all buildings and structures in those states to be Hindu, including Hindu-owned property and buildings that have already been converted to be non-Hindu.
A new rule requires every building or structure in a state to be a temple.
And, if you don’t want to be considered a Hindu, you can no longer hold a job at a public institution or religious nonprofit.
A bill approved by the state Assembly also would establish a Hindu temple in New York City and a Hindu center in Brooklyn.
The new law is intended to make New York a “place of refuge for the marginalized,” said Rajeev Kumar, a member of the New York Hindu community who represents New York’s 10th district.
“We are a city that’s in need of a Hindu presence,” Kumar said.
“I think the goal here is to give our city a very special Hindu presence.”
In Washington, the Trump administration is considering a number laws that could help promote Hinduism and other faiths in the U.S. In December, the U of T’s Law School released a report, titled “The Need for a Hindu National Assembly: The Case of the United Kingdom,” that found that, “There is a growing body of evidence that there are growing concerns about the prevalence of religion in the British Isles and that there is a need for a national assembly of religious minorities in the UK.”
While the report did not address the impact of such a national body, the findings were welcomed by many Hindus in Britain.
“It is a step forward, but it is not a panacea,” said Anu Jain, president of the All India Hindu Council in London.
“The UK is the only country that has not created a Hindu parliament and has not established a Hindu government,” said Jain.
“There are also many challenges, such as the need for religious leaders to be able to speak on issues that they have a vested interest in, and also for people to have access to education.”
In the U, Hindu nationalist groups have also been vocal about the need to establish a national temple.
“India’s National Congress Party has been at the forefront of this issue,” said Jagdish Bhagwati, a senior researcher at the Hindu American Foundation.
“They have been leading the push for a National Hindu Assembly for the last 15 years.”
According to the Pew Research Center, in India, about one in five Hindus is Hindu.
In 2015, there are more than 1.5 billion Hindus living in the world.