In God’s House tells the story of Utica, New York, a town in the Burned-Over District smoldering along the Rust Belt and reignited by ethnic and religious pluralism in the past two decades. The city and the surrounding county has become home to a number of refugees from Myanmar and Bosnia, adding to the religious diversity of the area. Along with these social veneers come new layers usage for religious spaces. For example, a United Methodist church building near city hall has become the Bosnian Islamic Center and a former Episcopal church building now houses a Vietnamese Buddhist congregation. Burmese people attend either the Bosnian mosque, the Buddhist temple, or an American Baptist church, depending on their religious identification. Meanwhile, Reformed and Conservative Jewish congregations share one building while declining to merge. The former Conservative synagogue is now a rehabilitation and nursing center.
|Jummah prayer at the Bosnian Islamic Association of |
Utica mosque (former Central Methodist church).
Photo by Robert Knight