Due to its high proportion of monks and the amount of time and money spent supporting religious activities, Myanmar is considered one of the most deeply-Buddhist countries in the world.
While many Christian refugees have left Myanmar due to religious persectution, those who immigrated voluntarily mostly maintain close ties to Buddhism. Approximately 1,000 Burmese live in New York, making it a supportive and tightly-knit community. There are currently 5 Burmese temples and meditation centers in Brooklyn and Queens, and an affiliated pagoda in New Jersey. The headquarters for the activist groups International Burmese Monks Organization and All Burma Monks' Alliance are also based in New York City. The majority of these photo were shot at The Universal Peace Buddha Temple in Prospect Heights.