NEW YORK PRAYS: in the mood for lord


Religion is something that has inflamed the United States of America for almost two centuries. Today, religion still preoccupies Americans as approximately 1,200 different denominations and sects compete for people's allegiance. Gallup reports that 93% of Americans believe in God, while 89% are certain that God loves him or her personally.  

Religion is more than just knowing, it is also believing in the transcendent, the divine, and acting on belief. Religion involves rituals and worship, as I documented at the Redeemer Christian Church, a Jehovah's Witnesses Temple in Queens, New York. On Sundays and during the week, families with children pray, dance and sing for the glory of the Lord. Lay people practice biodance, yoga or aerobics, these faithful gather in a large hall on Weirfield Street in Ridgewood and celebrate their Christian faith with a discharge of adrenaline. The music is loud, the rhythm is pounding and the energy is unusual, to say the least, for a religious celebration. Among the parishioners there is a Drama Team in charge of inspiring and encouraging celebrations.  

The majority of the faithful at the Redeemer Christian Church are Dominicans who, despite having immigrated to the US many years ago, still belong to a very separate social, linguistic and religious group. Outsiders often perceive New York as a multicultural metropolis, but it is a city full of enclaves, mainly faith-based. 

This series was shot in 2011.  

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