Religious Sights in Los Angeles

Yes, in its time, southern California has been home to all sort colorful religious activity! For example in 1906, Los Angeles was the birthplace to Pentecostalism. Then later in the century Aime Semple McPherson's built her grand Angelus Temple in Echo Park, a building that is now home to the Dream Center, founded by Assemblies of God.

California's history is intertwined with religion. The early Spanish settlers in California founded their missions here under the guidance of Father Serra; close to L.A. are Mission San Gabriel (founded 1771) and Mission San Fernando (1797).

More crucially, inherent with religious scene in Los Angeles is a wide range and breadth of cultures and perspectives. Starting in the early 19th century, Hindu religious organizations set up branches here. The Self-Realization Fellowship was founded in L.A. in 1925 by Swami Yogananda. Their headquarters are in Mt. Washington; at their lovely Lake Shrine one can pay homage to Mahatma Ghandi, as some of his ashes are interred here. As detailed here, the Vedanta Society set up a branch in Los Angeles in 1934. And of course the Hare Krishna's moved into town in the 1960s. . .

Buddhism is represented on this list as well. Some prominent Buddhist Temples included here are the Wat Thai Temple and the Japanese Higashi Hangwanji Temple. Chinese Buddhism is present as well in L.A., with the largest Buddhist Temple here, the Hsi Lai Temple.

What is most memorable for me here in Los Angeles are the multitude of small Central American store-front churches everywhere in the immigrant heavy neighborhoods, small churches that keep a constant song of praise going well into the night every weekend.

Mission San Fernando

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15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd
Mission Hills

Glimpse at L.A.'s Past... read more

Mission San Gabriel Arcangel

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428 S. Mission Dr
San Gabriel (15 min. south of Pasadena)

Lake Shrine

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17190 Sunset Boulevard

Home of Gandhi's ashes... read more

Wat Thai of Los Angeles

8225 Coldwater Canyon Avenue

Thailand, Minus the Jetlag... read more

St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral

1324 South Normandie Avenue

Byzantine structure from 1952... read more

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

555 W. Temple St
At Grand Ave

Cathedral of Angels... read more

Angelus Temple

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1100 Glendale Boulevard

History and worship... read more

Higashi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

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505 East Third Street
Corner of Third and South Central Avenues

Traditional Buddhist Temple... read more
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