Virginia Buddhist monks to relocate, educate

UPI, Aug. 2, 2009

NORFOLK, Va. (USA) -- A group of Buddhist monks whose home and temple will be auctioned wat to relocate to a land parcel in Virginia Beach, Va., a spokeswoman said.

{gad}The spokeswoman, Samantha Niezgoda, said the monks -- having foreclosed on the home they also used as a Buddhist Education Center of America Inc. -- will try to lease land from the City of Virginia Beach for a new home, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

Their home was owned by Thanh C. Doan, the master monk in Vietnam who owns the house and who is seriously ill. The house was the crux of litigation when the monks sued Virginia Beach, maintaining the city violated their right to freedom of religion in denying them a permit to hold services.

A settlement was reached allowing services to continue at the house but with no more than 20 people at a time. Because neighbors had complained, the monks agreed to hold festivals in a different location.