|Religious Diversity on Chicago's Southwest Side in 2002
Chicago's religious geography can be very heterogeneous when viewed at the level of districts such as the Southwest Side east of Midway Airport. Many ethnic groups and their religious subgroups have passed through here at one time or another. The area's recent churchscape reflects accumulation and replacement involving a rich diversity of religions and denominations by the beginning of the twenty-first century. Mainline Protestant churches founded by Lutheran, Episcopal, and Baptist congregations, for example, recall long established residents of Chicago moving to the area when it was first built up. Roman Catholic churches and synagogues represent the addition of Irish and later Polish and Jewish residents in the area. Muslim and pentacostal houses of worship signal the appearance of Arabs and African Americans and, more recently, Mexicans in the district (who also support the Roman Catholic churches). The 2000 Census revealed the increasing Mexican presence in the area, which correlates strongly with the appearance of pentacostal churches in the district.
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