A temple for a Lapland Buddha is being built
in Fredrika in Swedish Lapland
Lapland Buddha No one would expect to find a Lapland Buddha - in Lapland. But at the small town of Fredrika in Åsele municipality a statue of a Lapland Buddha is erected and a temple mount is in shape. As a visitor you'll find a 3 tons heavy and 8,5 metres high Buddha on a cliff. He stands there together with a statue of the Thai monk Long Poo Thuad.
This strange story starts in March of 2004. At that time the mayor of Åsele visited monks at a small farm in Åsele to study the drawings for a large temple to be placed at Fredrika. The area of the temple is going to be 400 square metres and it can house 300 people. In addition they will build a conference center for 800 people there. The Fredika Buddhist temple will become the largest in Europe.
CoincidenceThe Thai woman, Noi Gustafsson, met the monk Phramaha Boonthin when he was visiting in Åsele to bless a house. At that time monk told them that they were looking for a quiet site for a temple. Immediately Noi contacted the the mayor of Åsele. He reacted at once and contacted the Buddhist society of Sweden.
Less than a year later the building process had started on the cliff in Fredrika. The statues are there already, but the work on the buildings has been delayed due to the coup d'etat back in Thailand. Many people in Lapland are waiting for this large Buddhist temple to be built.
The picture to the left shows the statue of the monk Long Poo Thuad.
Buddhism in FennoscandiaThere are about 350 million Buddhists in the world. It is growing rapidly. There are about 25.000 Buddhists i Finland, Norway and Sweden altogether.
Read a short description of the beliefs behind the Lapland Buddha.
Both photos: Olav E. Johansen/Ossimellom