Minneapolis and St. PaulPaul, an early Jewish convert to the way of Christ (about 33 CE), became the Apostle to the Gentiles, preaching the Gospel and establishing churches in Greece, Asia Minor, and Rome. Some thirteen letters of Paul to these early churches have become part of... share a history that is deeply shaped by Scandinavian, German, and Irish immigrants and a culture profoundly influenced by ProtestantProtestant is a term used for the range of reform movements that broke with the Roman Catholic Church during the period called the Reformation. There are many branches of Protestantism, including the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists... ChristianityChristianity is the religious tradition of Christians: those who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, follow the path Christ taught, and gather together in the community of the church.. Given this milieu, the Twin Cities with a combined population of 667,000 may seem an unlikely home for a global community. But in an era of increased globalization, the Twin Cities have become a microcosm of a diverse religious America. Local public schools regularly send home communication in four languages—Somali, HmongAn indigenous people of Southeast Asia., Spanish, and English. Anyone who thinks of “A Prairie Home Companion” when the Twin Cities come to mind may be surprised to learn that Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to over thirty mosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit..., eleven Hindu templesA Hindu temple will be called a mandir in northern parts of India or a koyil in the south. There are many styles of temples and temple-complexes, but most temples are laid out according to precise dimensions and proportions and erected to be the symbolic ..., and one of the ten largest synagoguesSynagogue, shul in Yiddish, is the most widely used term for a Jewish house of worship. Meaning a “place of gathering,” it is the central institution of Jewish communal life. The structure and role of synagogues has changed through the centuries, but ... in the United States.
In many ways, the Twin Cities’ interfaith infrastructure defies easy classification. There are a number of campus-based initiatives—both institutional and student-driven—in addition to umbrella organizations such as the St. Paul Area Council of Churches’ St. Paul Interfaith Network and Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness. Interfaith efforts spearheaded by individuals such as Dr. Frank Burton, of Circle of Reason and the Secular Bible Study, also contribute to the richness of the city’s interfaith landscape.