A Small Town Does Good

After initial suspicions, a small Oregon town comes to terms wih its Buddhist neighbors.

Jeff Wilson

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Standing before the two hundred people assembled at the defunct elementary school of Clatskanie, Oregon (pop. 1,528), one woman didn’t mince words about her opinions. “The aura of Satan is taking a foothold. We do not want Buddhism in here.”

Many of the others shared her views. Soon the suspicions of some residents of this small town ninety minutes from Portland would bring it into the public eye, forcing it to wrestle with difficult issues of religion, freedom, and community in an age of fear and uncertainty.

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