IRELAND, October 18, 2020 (Religion Watch): Ireland does not look like the country that one would spontaneously associate with Hinduism. But the number of Hindus had grown to more than 14,000 by the time of the 2016 census, and representatives of the Hindu community estimate that the number is now somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 due to immigration. On August 22, what is described by its promoters as "Ireland's first official Hindu Temple" opened its doors after two decades of efforts, despite adverse circumstances created by Covid-19 (limited number of visitors allowed). Nevertheless, the new temple expects thousands of Hindus to visit until the end of the year (Irish Times, August 22, 2020). Hosting a wide range of Deities, the temple is placed under the direction of the Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre Ireland (VHCCI), which is the largest Hindu organization in the country. There have actually already been smaller places of worship in the country, linked to specific Hindu traditions, such as a Vinayaka temple (since 2003) and an ISKCON temple (as early as 1978).
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