RELIGION

Groundbreaking Ceremonies Held For Bengaluru India, Okinawa Japan Temples

Dec 5, 2020, 10:38 AM
Renderings of the Bengaluru India Temple and Okinawa Japan Temples (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)...
Renderings of the Bengaluru India Temple and Okinawa Japan Temples (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)
(Intellectual Reserve, Inc.)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Groundbreaking ceremonies have been held for the first-ever temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in India, and the fourth in Japan.

The ceremony for the Bengaluru India Temple happened Wednesday morning at a small gathering of local and area leaders, limited because of coronavirus restrictions.

The temple was announced by President Russell M. Nelson during the April 2018 General Conference. It will serve over 14,500 church members in a country of more than 1.3 billion.

Officials said Latter-day Saints in the country have had to attend other temples in the Philippines, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

“Today marks history for the Saints in India as we break the ground and prepare the soil for the construction of the holy temple in Bengaluru,” said President NithyaKumar Sunderraj of the Bengaluru India Stake.

Officials said the 1.62 acre site will hold the nearly 40,000 square-foot temple, a two-level meetinghouse, administrative offices, a church distribution center and a housing facility for visitors.

“This day would not have been possible were it not for your diligence and prayers,” said Elder Robert K. William, an Area Seventy with the Church. “With the beginning of the construction and the future dedication of the House of the Lord, this will become a hinge point for India and India will not be the same anymore.”

An estimated completion date was not available.

The Okinawa Japan Temple was announced by President Nelson during the April 2019 General Conference.

It will be the fourth temple in the country, along with the Fukuoka Japan Temple, Sapporo Japan Temple and Yokyo Japan Temple.

The small groundbreaking ceremony was held Saturday with a small group of local and regional leaders.

“Despite the small gathering, we are extremely grateful as we meet to consecrate this island for the building of a holy temple this day,” said Elder Takashi Wada, president of the Asia North Area.

The two-story 10,000 square-foot temple will be among the Church’s smallest.

Officials said the temple will be built on a half-acre site next to a meetinghouse that was built in 2013, and include a waiting area for patrons.

More than 130,000 Latter-day Saints live in Japan, according to a release sent out by the Church.

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Groundbreaking Ceremonies Held For Bengaluru India, Okinawa Japan Temples