The current era of religious flux in the United States is often depicted through photographs of empty pews in mainline Protestant churches during a typical Sunday service. But the ongoing evolutions in American religious culture are much more dynamic and complex than that simple formula–disaffiliation equals empty pews–is able to convey.
CRCC senior writer Nick Street visits Los Feliz, one of the most religiously diverse communities in L.A., to see how religious growth and decline shape the neighborhood’s built environment. We learn that new religious and spiritual groups are putting down roots where older institutions once flourished, and declining groups are literally gaining a new lease on life when they divest themselves of buildings that they can no longer maintain.
The video captures tour stops at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, the Islamic Center of Southern California, Joohyang Presbyterian Church, Wilshire Boulevard Temple and Immanuel Presbyterian Church. These congregations each provide a unique perspective on religion in Los Angeles today.
This video is part of CRCC’s “Reimagining Religion: Stories of Religious Creativity in L.A.” series, part of the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project. The project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.