BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Dalai Lama is in Birmingham this weekend, where he is expected to speak to thousands of people during appearances at a university, a baseball stadium and a theater.

The Tibetan spiritual leader greeted supporters Saturday outside a downtown hotel at the start of his visit to the United States.

WBMA-TV aired video of the Dalai Lama greeting supporters, who wore white scarves in hopes that he would bless them. Tibetan monks prepared sacred art in honor of the visit.

The visit also drew about 250 protesters downtown, reported. They say the Dalai Lama has persecuted people and caused them to be mistreated and ostracized in Tibetan exile communities.

The Dalai Lama on Saturday was participating in an event on brain science and healing hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

On Sunday, the Dalai Lama will participate in an interfaith event at the Alabama Theater, followed by a public talk at Regions Field.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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