I'm a national reporter for Religion News Service where I cover Latinos and religion. My work has appeared in the AP, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Press-Enterprise and Orange County Register.
From Illinois to Puerto Rico, Latino Muslims navigate faith and quarantine among their non-Muslim families
While COVID-19 has disrupted in-person worship services for all people of faith, it has further impacted Latino Muslim converts whose religious community is outside their homes.
For some, it’s an opportunity for family to learn about their Islamic faith.
Four people of different faiths moved into an L.A. house to learn from one another. Then COVID-19 happened. In a time of social distancing, they've had to learn to live together and how to keep each other "safe from potential death and illness."
Known as EXLLDM, the message board has about 1,400 subscribers and has been active since about 2017. Members are anonymous and have usernames like FreeAndLovingLife, secular_mind and free4romthatcult.
Instead of having her body buried or cremated, Sarah Chavez would opt to have her remains turned into soil.
“For centuries, women have and still have to fight for control over their bodies in life and in death," Chavez said. “My body and the right to make decisions about it, I feel strongly should belong to me.”
Fernando Romero Orozco said he appreciates Pope Francis’ push for inclusivity, but “it has to trickle down to our priests that we go on Sunday.”
Imam Omar Suleiman led a binational prayer at Friendship Park, a historic meeting place on the U.S.-Mexico border that overlooks the Pacific Ocean between San Diego and Tijuana.
Participants believe it was the first time a formal Muslim prayer was shared across the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Among some reasons Latinx are leaving the Catholic faith: church mandates against women priests and pre-marital sex, lack of LGBTQ inclusivity and rhetoric over abortion.
A group of Latina Muslims in San Diego is raising money to build a shelter across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, to not only assist the surge of migrants there but also to help those who are deported from the United States.
In simple terms, a chaplain is a person who performs ministerial duties apart from a parish. And as fewer people identify with a specific religion or attend religious services, Americans may be more likely to meet a chaplain than a local clergy person at a congregation.
Marilynn Montaño, who works as a barista in the downtown area, documents the closure of long-time businesses — including quinceañera boutiques — by posting photos of the empty shops on Instagram.
“I started to document them because, in a couple years, this is just going to be a memory to someone,” said Montaño, 25.
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — The way Brenda Perez sees it, she and her neighbors look through murals as “windows into the spiritual landscape.”
“We don’t consider these quinceañera shops, the people who make these dresses, as also artists. When we say support artists, we think of visual artists at galleries, but they’re also artists. They’re also makers."
It’s the children of Central American immigrants who are finding places to break through the Mexican-dominated landscape, lift up their own identities, and challenge the mainstream idea of what it means to be Central American.
For Paul Parrish, his identity gives him an unusual perspective on what it means to be undocumented under the Trump administration.
“It is amazing how accepting people are when you look like one of their own."
“My parents have always told (us) opportunities are anywhere. They brought us to this country because it was supposedly the land of opportunity,” said Karla Estrada, 26, of Los Angeles. “But if we find opportunity in another place, our country is wherever our feet take us,” she said.