The Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, an Ahmedabad based Hindu religious order, has purchased a 30-year old church located in Portsmouth if the Virginia state of the United States with a plan to convert it into a temple of the Swaminarayan sect, reports TOI.
Some minor renovations will be made to the church before the 'pran pratistha' (consecration) ceremony for idols to be placed at the temple is conducted.
This is the sixth US church and the ninth one globally to be transformed into a temple by the Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. The Portsmouth church has been acquired at an estimated price of about $1.6 million
Previously, churches in California, Pennsylvania and Ohio have also be converted to temples in a similar manner. Another 125-year old building has been acquired in Toronto, Canada by the sect for a temple to be established there.
The mahant of the organisation Bhagwatpriyadas Swami stated, “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 church has a built-up area of 18,000 square feet spread across five acres of land, and it will serve the community of around 10,000 Gujaratis living in Virginia, along with other Hindu devotees.
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