When this community was built, churches were at its center. And they still are in many ways. Many Northeasters brag that there’s a church on every block—which isn’t too far from the truth. In fact, in one instance there are four churches on one block. The cluster of churches found at 13th and Monroe Street have earned mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for having more churches on one block than anywhere else in the world. Churches are plentiful everywhere in Northeast and reflect a rich tradition of worship, social service, and community involvement.

“As Minneapolis was developing, the residential areas were on the south side and areas east of the river were reserved for industry. With limited transportation options, immigrants settled in Northeast because that is where the jobs were. Along with them they brought parts of their own cultures which is why there are so many churches, in Northeast such as Irish, French, German, Lebanese even Russian Orthodox.” - Hennepin County Commissioner, Mark Stenglein, District 2.

The many churches of Northeast Minneapolis reflect the ethnic groups that first settled here. German, Lebanese, Swedish, Italian and Polish immigrants founded churches with strong ties to their national identities. For example, German Catholics founded St. Boniface Church in 1859, naming it after St. Boniface, the apostle to the Germans. Lebanese Catholics, the first immigrants to arrive in the area from the Middle East, founded St. Maron Church in 1906.

Today, these churches and many more remain deeply ingrained in their founding ethnic communities. Many Northeast congregations host services in their native tongues–and parishioners from throughout the Twin Cities drive to Northeast every Sunday for that reason. At the same time, new immigrant
communities and residents bring new beliefs and new institutions to Northeast Minneapolis. Some of these newest institutions include: The Islamic Community Center, serving the area’s growing Muslim community; The Shambhala Center of Minneapolis, dedicated to the teachings of meditation and Buddhism; and Hindu Mandir, a Hindu temple.

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