“Dios es bueno!“ (God is good!)
Pastor Rene Molina moved among the sea of believers, bestowing blessings with his touch. He placed a hand on one worshiper’s head, sparking such emotion that the man fell to the floor.
“Jesus was an immigrant and outsider too,” Molina said, speaking in the Spanish of his native El Salvador. “God is here in Los Angeles as you struggle. God is there with your family, in Mexico and Guatemala…. Don’t doubt your value, no matter what society says.”This is Sunday morning service at Restauracion Los Angeles, emblematic of how the practice of Christianity here is being reshaped.
Latino Pentecostals have become an integral part of L.A.’s religious fabric over the last two decades. New arrivals, from countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador, already were believers. Others grew up Catholic but were attracted to the more intimate Pentecostal experience, finding comfort there after leaving family and friends behind.
LA Times’ Kurt Streeter reports on the growth of Pentecostalism, a global faith with roots in Los Angeles.