Religious Diversity in Irvine, CA

January 26, 2003

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 26, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that "Irvine... has emerged as one of the nation's most religiously diverse suburbs... Here, there's a Buddhist temple that can house 42 monks, a Korean church that boasts 4,000 members and a $50-million K-12 Jewish day school. There's a $ 4-million Islamic elementary school, the county's largest Greek Orthodox Church and a university run by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod... Ahead is a $37-million Jewish community center and a Mormon temple, which sits just outside Irvine's border on land annexed by Newport Beach in 1998... The religious pluralism in Irvine reflects a national trend in which large institutions of faith are following immigrants to the suburbs, creating houses of worship that are also cultural centers for newcomers to America... The construction of mosques, temples and buildings more exotic than a standard church and steeple have caused some consternation in suburban neighborhoods not accustomed to the sights. But experts say acceptance is growing, especially in the post-Sept. 11 era."