Two diverse faiths: Minnesota’s Mindekirken and Tibetan Buddhism
Religion and language shape culture, so for immigrants coming to the United States, foreign tongues and unfamiliar worship services can be daunting. This audio documentary explores two religious communities in Minneapolis: the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, or Mindekirken, and Tibetan Buddhists at the Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery. Mindekirken is one of only two churches in the United States where Norwegian is the main language of worship. Founded 90 years ago in the Phillips neighborhood, the church has reinvented itself multiple times as the number of Norwegian immigrants to the Twin Cities has slowed to a trickle. But still the church draws worshipers—close to one hundred—many second, third and fourth generation Norwegian-Americans. Across town, young Tibetans at the Gyuto Wheel of Dharma Monastery and the Tibetan Community Center talk about keeping religious traditions alive while living in exile. Tibetans began arriving in the Minnesota in the 1990s, and today the Twin Cities has the second largest Tibetan population in the United States. Young adults explain what Buddhism means to them, how it’s different than their parents’ religion, and what the future holds for the next generation being raised as Tibetan, Buddhist and Minnesotan.