Salt Lake City, Utah – Today, Lao-Americans from all around the nation gathered at the Capitol for a celebration to honor and bless the recently built temple.
The Lao-American Buddhist Monks Council will confer its blessing on the Wat Lao Buddharam Buddhist temple in West Valley City during this year’s 2022 Annual General Conference.
Right now, it is the state’s biggest Buddhist temple.
Senator Luz Escamilla, one of the state legislators present, addressed to honor the occasion and the accomplishment of the interfaith community in her area.
“I represent the most diverse senate district in the state and I’ve been from the groundbreaking ceremony for this specific temple,” said Sen. Escamilla. “I’ve seen their growth and this is kind of like a cycle in that process.”
“That was the exciting part to welcome so many from other parts of the country,” she said.
The annual meeting of the Lao-American Buddhist Monks Council, which includes monks from throughout the country, will take place in Utah this year.
The first day of the meeting, according to Escamilla, is entirely devoted to negotiations with the LDS church. The gathering is said to extend for four days.
“Interfaith conversation can happen in a respectful way,” she said. “We’re a very religious state, family-oriented. Those are the very same values that our Lao-Buddhist brothers and sisters share.”
The meetings will go on through tomorrow, and then there will be celebrations in the temple on Saturday and Sunday.
“For many individuals, our country is where they get to worship and practice their religion more freely than in their country of origin,” Sen. Escamilla added. “The welcoming of their faith means a lot to them.”
“We just get reminded how blessed we are in this country to be able to do that,” she said.