Monday, March 19, 2007

Los Angeles



From Wikipedia:
Los Angeles is home to adherents of many religions, and has over 100 Christian denominations, with Roman Catholicism being the largest due to the high numbers of Hispanic, Filipino, and Irish Americans.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles leads the largest archdiocese in the country. Roger Cardinal Mahony oversaw construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, completed in 2002 at the north end of downtown. The Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is their second-largest temple and is located in West Los Angeles. L.A. had a wave of Mormon settlers in the 1860s to generate a fairly large community of members of that church.

Los Angeles is home to the third largest population of Jewish people in the United States. Many synagogues of the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist movements can be found throughout the city. Most are located in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles. The area in West LA around Fairfax and Pico Boulevards contains a large amount of Orthodox Jews. The oldest synagogue in Los Angeles is the Breed Street Shul in East Los Angeles, which is being renovated.

The Azusa Street Revival (1906–1909) in Los Angeles was a key milestone in the history of the Pentecostal movement. Not long after Christian Fundamentalism received its name and crucial promotion in Los Angeles. In 1909, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (B.I.O.L.A. now Biola University) published and widely distributed a set of books called The Fundamentals, which presented a defense of the traditional conservative interpretation of the Bible. The term fundamentalism is derived from these books.

In the 1920s, Aimee Semple McPherson established a thriving evangelical ministry, with her Angelus Temple in Echo Park open to both black and white church members of the Foursquare Church. Billy Graham became a celebrity during a successful revival campaign in Los Angeles in 1949. Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God used to have its headquarters in nearby Pasadena, now in Glendale. Until his death in 2005, Dr. Gene Scott was based near downtown. The Metropolitan Community Church, a fellowship of Christian congregations with a focus on outreach to gays and lesbians, was started in Los Angeles in 1968 by Troy Perry. Jack Chick, of "Chick Tracts", was born in Boyle Heights and lived in the area most of his life.

Because of Los Angeles' large multi-ethnic population, there are numerous organizations in the area representing a wide variety of faiths, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Bahá'í, various Eastern Orthodox Churches, Sufism and others. Immigrants from Asia for example, have formed a number of significant Buddhist congregations making the city home to the biggest variety of Buddhists in the world. There are over 300 temples in Los Angeles. Los Angeles has been a destination for Swamis and Gurus since as early as 1900, including Paramahansa Yogananda (1920). The Self-Realization Fellowship is headquartered in Hollywood and has a private park in Pacific Palisades. Los Angeles is the home to a number of Neopagans, as well as adherents of various other mystical religions. One wing of the Theosophist movement is centered in Los Angeles, and another is in neighboring Pasadena. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded the Transcendental Meditation movement in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. The Kabbalah Centre is in the city. The Church of Scientology has had a presence in Los Angeles since it opened February 18, 1954, and it has several churches, museums, and recruiting sites in the area, most notably the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, in fact the world's largest community of Scientologists can be found in LA.

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