Religious Diversity in the U.S.
[You Need to Answer All 12 Questions (for a Total of 20 Points)]
Instructions: The film located below is focused on the growing religious diversity that has emerged in the city of Fremont, California. This city is an example of how one community, that was very limited in religious diversity, became a symbol of religious diversity for the entire United States. This process of becoming diverse is one that has many trials and difficulties for the citizens of Fremont and yet over the last few decades has illustrated the power of bridging very diverse social, cultural, and religious backgrounds into one community that shares in its proud status as a diverse and enriched community. As you watch this film, pay attention to the layers of diversity that exist, the amount of diversity amongst and between groups, and the communities overall reaction to diverse people and religious beliefs.
Religious Diversity in the U.S. an Example of How Diversity Emerged in One American City:
Stop the Film at the 30:35 mark of the timeline!
[1.] How diverse is Fremont, California for its size compared to other cities? How many years has it taken for Fremont to be transformed by “new immigration”? What racial group was predominate before 1956? What are some of the immigrant groups that have moved to Fremont?
[2.] By the 1980’s Fremont had transformed into a very diverse community. According to the film, how many different countries are represented in this one community? How many different languages are spoken at home? How did that happen in only a few short decades? [Hint: Silicon Valley?] What is the primary ethnic group that lives in Fremont, California today?
[3.] What are some of the names of the Global Churches that appear in the opening of the film? What does this level of variety of diverse faiths signify about the city? What are some of the “new religious traditions” that are becoming a part of the religious landscape?
[4.] How many different types of “new religion” places of worship have emerged in Fremont in the last few years? (Mosques, Temples, etc.) What other signs illustrate that the city of Fremont is changing? What does the city council member Steve Cho state is the reason Fremont is so diverse?
[5.] What were the initial major “new religions” that moved into the Fremont area in the 1980’s? Initially, the Fremont Hindu Temple was housed where? What improvements did they make on the Fremont Hindu Temple? What does Yogi Chugh state about gaining acceptance in the local community and where it begins? Was there resistance? Why?
[6.] Did the same problems arise for the Sikh Temple of Fremont? What kind of resistance did the Gurdwara Sahib of Fremont face? Why? Sarabjit Kaur Cheema states the overall importance of the temple to the community is: What?
[7.] One of the Buddhist Monks in the film states that religious pluralism would not be possible in Fremont without the U.S. focus on providing, what to its citizens? How important do you think that U.S. religious freedoms and protections contribute to a community like Fremont, California?
[8.] Anu Natarajan from the Fremont City Council, points out the unique situation of Peace Terrace. What is the Peace Terrace? Why is it so unique? What does this relationship between two differ religious organizations suggest about the possibility of diverse religious institutions and coexistence? Is there something unique about American society that you would argue allows this type of diverse relations to emerge and be successful? Why?
[9.] Though the amount of religious diversity is very impressive for any city, let alone for the population size of Fremont, there are indeed problems. What kind of challenges do local law enforcement face with this diverse of a community? What kind of social, cultural, and religious concerns do local law enforcement have to navigate through? Give an example of a problem that was particularly problematic for law enforcement? What advice is given by Freemont Chief of Police Craig Steckler for other police departments that have emerging diverse populations?
[10.] How involved are all the diverse religious organizations in the community, its planning, and providing input for the future of the community? How diverse is the city council, city employees, etc.? Why is having a diverse city council and city employees important to the city of Freemont? How does this promote acceptance and religious tolerance between diverse groups?
[11.] What is the Human Relations Commission? Why is it important to maintain an interfaith council for the city of Fremont? What does this council actually do?
[12.] Are violence and hate-based crimes a problem for Freemont? Give examples of the violence there? What changed in the Fremont community after the September 11th terrorist attacks? How did the community respond to misinformation and stereotypes about certain group’s religious ideals and beliefs? How important is community outreach and promoting understanding after tragic events such as these?
Religious Diversity in the U.S. [You Need to Answer All 12 Questions (for a Tota
Religious Diversity in the U.S.