One way to refer to the city of angels might be “city of nations.” There have been multiple waves of immigration into the city, with the most recent wave from 1990-2010. As a city of close to 4 million, the metropolitan area adding another 14 million, Los Angeles and the surrounding area represent a huge opportunity for today’s church. More than 35% of the population in L.A. county is foreign-born. The most well represented countries include: Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, India, Korea, Japan and China. One fifth of the population in L.A. lives below the poverty line.
While the city is known for its beauty and culture, living in L.A. has its risks. Natural disasters roll through on a regular basis; the last large earthquake arrived in 1994. Killing more than fifty people and causing over 49 billion in damages, the Northridge earthquake is the second most costly natural disaster in the US, just behind hurricane Katrina.
Although L.A. is not separated into ethnic neighborhoods to the same degree as cities like NYC, there are a few distinct cultural enclaves including: Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo and Little Armenia. After decades of racial and ethnic conflicts, there are still clear fissures in the unity of the population. Notably, in 1992, there were severe riots after the acquittal of four white police officers on trial for brutality.
The city has seen its share of damage, both physically and socially. Our prayer is that citizens of L.A. will come to know reconciliation and healing through experiencing the love of Jesus.