Savannah Buddhists to build new temple
by Dana Clark Felty, Savannah Morning News, February 21, 2009
Savannah, GA (USA) -- Members of the Buddhist Association of Savannah are planning to build a 3,200-square-foot temple on their property on U.S. 80 in Garden City, according to association president An Nguyen.
The new building will include marble floors through the roughly 2,000 square feet of worship space and about 1,200 square feet designated for a kitchen, dining area, library and bathrooms.
Nguyen said consultants have estimated the cost of the facility to range between $15,000 to $25,000.
The new facility will nearly double the space in the Cat-Tuong Temple.
Since 2000, the congregation of about 250 area Buddhists - largely from Vietnam - have worshipped in a two-bedroom, 1920s cottage.
Nguyen expects the new building to be completed by Buddha's birthday, which falls this year on May 2.
Members of Cat-Tuong Temple observe five precepts similar to the Christian Ten Commandments. They forbid followers from the killing of any living being, stealing, sexual "misconduct," "false speech" and use of "intoxicating drink or drugs."
Buddhists generally are vegetarians or vegans, believing that killing animals is immoral.
Many members don't believe in a place called heaven. Instead, they believe in nirvana, or a state of existence that is free of suffering.