April 02, 2024, California: CoHNA applauds the efforts of the five Congressional Representatives who raised concerns about the alarming trend of attacks on Hindu temples in the United States. This long-overdue attention to the issue, comes after a series of attacks, including six incidents in the Bay Area, California, between November 2023 and January 2024, with similar incidents occurring in New York and elsewhere in 2022.

“We’ve been sounding the alarm on these repeated and disturbing attacks for too long,” said Nikunj Trivedi, President at CoHNA. “The desecration of sacred spaces meant for peace and worship is a direct assault on the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”

Despite the severity of these attacks, they have often been overlooked or downplayed by local and national media outlets, exacerbating the sense of insecurity within the Hindu community.

It is in this background that the five lawmakers, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Shri Thanedar, Pramila Jayapal, and Ami Bera have written to Congress requesting a briefing from the Department of Justice on the status of investigations concerning these crimes. They have asked for the briefing by April 18, 2024. 

The issue of Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu hate was underscored in a comprehensive study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University in 2022, revealing the widespread and insidious nature of these prejudices.

“We express our gratitude to the lawmakers for bringing attention to the fear that affects the Hindu community across the nation,” continued Trivedi. “However, much more needs to be done to address the root causes of these attacks.”

CoHNA calls for a national dialogue on Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu hate to combat the underlying prejudices fueling these assaults. Additionally, we urge lawmakers at all levels to take proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of Hindu temples and worshippers.

“We have lived in fear and silence for far too long,” emphasized Trivedi. “It is time for our voices to be heard, and for concrete actions to be taken to protect our community. When attacks like this go unpunished, the chilling effect is powerful-especially for families with young children and new immigrants, who normally come to a temple seeking a sense of community and spiritual solace.”

About CoHNA

CoHNA is a grassroots level advocacy and civil rights organization dedicated to improving the understanding of Hinduism in North America by working on matters related to the Hindu community and by educating the public about Hindu heritage and tradition. For more information, please visit https://cohna.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and on Instagram.