~ December 2018 ~
It is by entering the wisdom of the entrusting heart that we become persons who respond in gratitude to the Buddha’s benevolence.

Welcome to the Buddhist Churches of America Homepage!
Whether you are a visitor looking to learn about Jodo Shinshu Buddhism or a long-time member at one of our 60 temples across the country, we invite you to explore the online home of our BCA community. With churches and temples throughout the United States, we offer many exciting and educational programs for all ages. Founded over 110 years ago by pioneering Japanese immigrants, our Sanghas are vibrant communities embracing people from many walks of life. What brings us together is the desire to live our lives in the spirit of Amida Buddha – the Buddha of immeasurable Wisdom and Compassion. The spirit of Amida Buddha touches all people and gives us the courage to live our lives with peace.  We hope you will find the resources and information you seek here. BCA Mission Statement: TO PROMOTE THE BUDDHA, DHARMA, AND SANGHA as well as TO PROPAGATE THE JODO SHINSHU TEACHINGS.


The Harmony of Human Community

Imagine a country lying in absolute darkness with many living beings blindly rushing around. Naturally they will be frightened and lonely as they run about without recognizing one another. Then let us imagine that suddenly a superior person with a torch appears and everything around becomes bright and clear. The living beings find great relief as they look about, recognize one another, and happily share their companionship. When the world of human life lies in the darkness of ignorance, those who have no light of wisdom in their minds wander in loneliness and fear. They do not know how to associate with their fellow humans in peaceful harmony, and they are naturally miserable and afraid. “A superior person with a torch” refers to Buddha assuming human form, and by his wisdom and compassion he illuminates the world. In this light, people find themselves as well as others and are glad to establish human fellowship and harmonious relations. Thousands of people may live in a community, but it is not one of real fellowship until they know each other and have sympathy for one another. A true community has faith and wisdom that illuminate it. A true community is a place where the people know and trust one another and where there is social harmony; it is harmony that gives life and meaning to every community. Paraphrased from The Teaching of Buddha, chapter two.


Comment Regarding the Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S. Border

Americans have always taken great pride in considering our country a humanitarian nation. Laura Bush, former first lady of the United States, commenting on the state of affairs at our nation’s borders, reminds all of us that “these images are eerily reminiscent of the internment camps for U.S. citizens and non-citizens of Japanese descent during World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”

I agree.

This is a humanitarian crisis that cannot be watched in silence. It is unacceptable to witness the utter lack of compassion, and the inhumanity of separating children from their parents. Horrific events occur when people lose their sense of humanity.

The Buddhist Churches of America is the oldest and largest Buddhist organization in the west. When people seeking refuge in the United States are automatically criminalized and their innocent children are traumatized, there is a humanitarian imperative to speak out as Shin Buddhists, and as human beings.

Richard A. Stambul
President, Buddhist Churches of America