Document Type


Publication Date



The growing diversification of the US Latino religious’ experiences calls for scholarly attention beyond Protestant or Catholic categories. This study begins to answer this call. Using interview data with 26 Latinos collected over 2 years of observation at the True Lama Meditation Center (TLMC) in Houston, Texas, we describe how Latinos who convert to Buddhism or actively attend the temple while also continuing to attend Christian services (both Catholic and Protestant) see themselves and understand their religious identities and practices. We then explore the reasons for their conversion or changes in religious identities and practices through various theoretical lens. Although the majority of respondents now claim to be Buddhist, many did not switch religions but augmented or extended their religious identities and practices. Reasons for conversion to Buddhism or concurrent involvement at the temple and Buddhist faith practices include seeking material support and miracles and those seeking spiritual fulfillment they felt they were not getting in Christian faith practices.


Originally published in the International Journal of Latin American Religions, June 2018, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 50–71.