Saturday, October 4, 2003

Jain Center's history honored

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

WEST CHESTER - One of the oldest religions will celebrate its history in Ohio on Sunday.

The Jain Center of Cincinnati and Dayton, 6798 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, will be honored Sunday with the placement of a historical marker for Ohio's Bicentennial. The 2 p.m. event will include a presentation by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

The center is the only Jain Temple in Ohio and the first to be recognized in such a way in North America.

"It is very exciting and very important to have a place like this," said Ashwin Parekh, a member of the center. "You need someplace to look toward, to worship to grow in your faith."

Jainism began in the eighth century B.C. in India. The faith teaches universal love, nonviolence and nonmaterialism.

The Cincinnati center was established in 1979, and the temple was completed in 1995, with more than 1,000 people attending the dedication.

There are 6 million Jains in the world and about 200 are members of the local Jain Center.

The center hosted to more than 4,000 Jains from all over North America for the Federation of Jain Associations convention this year.

New mosque opening

The Islamic Association of Cincinnati will open a new mosque in Clifton Sunday with an open house and tours at 3 and 4 p.m.

The mosque, at 3668 Clifton Ave., has 5,600 square feet and additional space for future meeting rooms. The $2 million project has been under construction for two years.

Animal blessing

In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, several Greater Cincinnati churches will hold animal blessing ceremonies this weekend.

St. Francis Seraph in Over-the-Rhine, at Liberty and Vine streets, will host its annual ceremony at 10 a.m. today. For a partial list of churches with a ceremony or for more information about St. Francis of Assisi and his feast day, visit Web site.

To submit religion news, e-mail or send a fax to 755-4150.

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