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A New Hope: Faith-to-faith conversions on the city’s East Side

Over the years we’ve seen a number of churches converted into residences, cultural centers, etc. We’ve also seen a number torn down. And as we are readily aware, there are plenty that are still at-risk. But there is a new hope that Buffalo’s burgeoning refugee communities could be the answer to that problem. CityLab has posted an article that discusses Buffalo’s ability to rescue and revive its struggling East Side churches, thanks to new immigrant and refugee congregations that are transforming the holy edifices into their own places of worship.

In the article, author Ashima Krishna takes a look at what prompted these conversions to occur, the aesthetic changes within the structures, and how the new ethnic communities are integrating with their host communities. It’s a fascinating look at a Buffalo that many people are not familiar with. It’s also a ray of hope that these displaced communities can continue to bolster neighborhoods throughout the city, while contributing towards a cultural melting pot that is undeniably transforming the face of this city. 

Click here to read how two empty Roman Catholic churches have been successfully converted into an Islamic mosque and a Buddhist temple. Let’s hope that Buffalo continues to act as a sanctuary city, even if it is not officially one. The Mayor of Buffalo has stated in the past that Buffalo does not need to be listed as a sanctuary city to welcome legally fleeing refugees from war torn countries. Buffalo can’t be in a position to lose federal funding simply due to a label, when it’s clear that the city is doing its best to create safe havens for those who are homeless and destitute, no matter where they are coming from.

Have faith, Buffalo.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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