From San Diego Free Press
City Heights has got religion. A distinctive characteristic of my community is not only the sheer number of religious establishments located here, but the diverse forms that religious expression takes. There are the storefront Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches that have sprung up along University and El Cajon Boulevard, with names like La Esposa del Cordero, the Shepherd’s Wife, and signs with the exhortation Pare de Sufrir, to stop suffering.
There are Buddhist temples, botánicas, a mosque, a tiny Russian Orthodox church, and familiar Catholic and Baptist churches as well. Religious services are conducted in Spanish, Creole, Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese, to name just a few of the languages routinely spoken besides English. I do not know if other languages besides Arabic are used at the mosque located adjacent to the Somali neighborhood known as Little Mogadishu. There are also shamans and babaloas living quietly among us.
The City Heights streets themselves are integral to proselytizing. Slow moving groups of nicely dressed, polite yet religiously resolute Jehovah Witnesses are visible every day. They hold copies of La Atalya, the Watchtower, and are prepared to leave a religious tract in the hands of residents at their homes and at bus stops. From time to time someone with a bull horn stands on a busy corner denouncing sin and describing the glories of redemption. I’ll occasionally see elders of the church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) bicycle down the street, unmistakable in their short sleeve white shirts and narrow black ties. Once two members of the Bahá’i church knocked at my door. City Heights has got a lot of religion.
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