Southern California is one of the most diverse regions in the United States. Immigrants from almost every country in the world bring their cultural traditions with them. From strip-mall mosques to megachurches, the religious communities of Greater Los Angeles are strikingly vibrant and varied. Yet, California also leads the trend away from religion. By population, the state has the largest number of religious “nones,” those unaffiliated with a religious institution, in the United States.
Religion in Southern California is about more than prayer and ritual in churches, temples and masjids. CRCC’s research on religion in Los Angeles traces it roots back the faith-based response to the L.A. riots. Religious groups here have long been active in civic and political movements—for both conservative and progressive causes. The region provides ample opportunities to understand how race, religion, politics and culture interact with each other. Many of our findings provide useful comparisons for other regions in the United States and across the globe.
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- ArticleEvangelicals Versus Oil: Environmental Justice in South Los AngelesThis article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Sojourners magazine. Sentinel Peak Resources recently announced its intention to abandon petroleum production at its Jefferson Boulevard site. The families arrived early …Topics: Community Organizing, Environment, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Southern California
- CRCC in the NewsLAist: Loskota on Congregations Addressing HomelessnessA Los Angeles-area non-profit has been unsuccessful in opening congregations’ parking lots to people living out of their cars, reports KPCC/LAist. CRCC Executive Director Brie Loskota told KPCC that the expectations on …Topics: Economic Inequality, Social Services, Southern California
- CommentaryHow Young Women Become Catholic Sisters TodayWhen Sister Jeanette Kong was growing up in Singapore, she felt herself to be a “jaded and disillusioned young person.” She had been raised in a Catholic family environment with a Catholic …Topics: Catholics and Catholicism, Nuns and Women Religious, Southern California
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- CommentaryThe L.A. Decade: Religious Innovation in an Emerging Global CityThe following is a speech given at The Collaboratory, a gathering of Jewish leaders. When I was teaching at a Jewish day school for girls, one of my students approached me excited …Topics: Creativity and Innovation, Southern California
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- CRCC in the News83.9 KPCC: Mark Whitlock on LA’s Korean Christian Community Seeking Social ImpactKorean Americans make up a large portion of Los Angeles’ population, and many of them identify as Christian. However, Korean churches do not have the same reputation for impacting the community in …Topics: Black Church, Christians and Christianity, CMCCE, Community Organizing, Faith-Based Organizations, Immigration, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, Religious Affiliation, Religious Leadership, Social Services, Southern California
- CommentaryHow California’s Megachurches Changed Christian CultureThis article was originally published on The Conversation. The popular view of California is of a liberal, godless region, a land of possibilities that is open to experimentation in all things. As …Topics: Branding and Marketing, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, Evangelicals and Evangelicalism, Megachurches, Southern California
“All of these movements and organizations flourish side-by-side in a degree of harmony that is rare or even unheard-of in other parts of the world. The occasional crisis, like the 1992 civil unrest, has prompted diverse groups to extend the olive branch and build bridges, even when these relationships are challenging.”
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- Brad ChristersonContributing FellowBrad Christenson is a sociologist who has written extensively in the areas of religion, race, ethnicity, and globalization.
- Samuel ChuContributing FellowSamuel Chu is a seasoned community organizer and strategist who works at the intersection of faith and public policy.
- Hebah FarragAssistant Director of ResearchHebah Farrag manages the center’s research and evaluation projects while engaging in research focused on religion, social change and new spiritualties.
- Richard FlorySenior Director of Research and EvaluationRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr.Contributing FellowRev. Frank Jackson, Jr. couples his experience in business and investment with his passion for community development.
- Andrew JohnsonContributing FellowAndrew Johnson is a sociologist who studies religion on the margins of society, with specific interests in religious practice inside of prison, Latin American Pentecostalism and religion in the city.
- Brie LoskotaExecutive DirectorBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- Juan MartínezContributing FellowJuan Martinez studies the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity and transnational mission among U.S. Latinos.
- Donald E. MillerDirector of Strategic InitiativesDonald Miller focuses on global religious trends, genocides of the 20th century, and the role of religious NGOs in addressing issues of moral concern.
- Cecil L. MurrayUniversity FellowRev. Cecil Murray works to ensure that the legacy of African American Church leaders pass on their years of experience to the next generation.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & University FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Bruce PhillipsUniversity FellowBruce Phillips is among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry and is an avid historian of Los Angeles.
- Jonathan RussellContributing FellowJonnie Russell is a scholar engaging religion, philosophy and politics, and a chaplain working for social justice on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.
- Rebecca SagerContributing FellowRebecca Sager’s work focuses on political and religious movements and parities in American political life.