Supervisors say Buddhist worship center in violation of ordinances

WLBT 3, Sep 8, 2010

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (USA) -- Rankin County supervisors ordered that construction be stopped immediately on a Buddhist worship center Tuesday.

They say the building, which is some eight miles north of Pelahatchie off Highway 43, violates county ordinances.

It is a house trailer, which has been added onto with conventional construction and there is another house trailer adjacent to it.

One of the worshipers at the meeting, Ai Mai, told WLBT she just wants a place to teach her children her religion.

"I wish we could have one, so we can gather, have meeting and teach our children, you know traditional ah religion. Like we are so excited about our temple," said Mai.

But the Board of Supervisors says it has only given the Buddhists permission to add a porch.

"The only permit that they have got is to build a six by ten porch. Anything they have added to that other than the porch will have to come down," said Wood Brown, President of the board.

There is a Hindu house of worship in Rankin County, also down a narrow road, but it has met all county zoning requirements. It is just West of Old Fannin Road.

It is unclear what will happen now to the Buddhist worship center, but the action of the Board of Supervisors can be appealed to Rankin County Circuit Court.