Catholicism is the predominant religion in New York City. Although the Dutch, who were mostly Protestants, were its first European settlers, it did not influence much of the city’s religion mainly because the Dutch’s colony was never a religious one.
New York, also referred to as the Big Apple, is also famous for its large population of Jewish people; most of its African-American inhabitants are Baptist but they only make up a small minority of the city’s overall population.
The Irish and Italian Roman Catholics came to the city in the 19th Century which was considered to be the city’s biggest wave of immigration. Adding this to the Latin American Catholic settlers, you get Catholicism as the majority. Statistically, the religion make up about 40% of New York’s religion, other major religions are Protestants at 30% and Jewish at 8.5%.
Among the famous and fascinating religious structures in the city are the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Temple Emanu-El, and the Church of the Transfiguration.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave
With a 5000-seating capacity, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Its construction began in 1892 and was built mainly of traditional Gothic engineering. The church is the seat of New York’s Episcopal Diocese; however, it also embraces St. John’s tradition of interfaith.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
5th Ave Between 50th and 21st Sts
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is United States’ largest Roman Catholic cathedral. It is also New York’s Archdiocese seat. Designed by James Renwick in 1879, the cathedral structure is made up mainly of white marble and stone. The church has a seating capacity of 2,200.
1 E 65th St
One of New York’s most famous synagogues, the Temple Emanu-El is the largest of all Jewish house of worship in the world. It showcases a majestic blend of Romanesque and Moorish styles that symbolize the harmony of the Western and Eastern cultures.
The temple, aside from being a house of worship, also has a museum which features remarkable collection of Hanukkah lamps from the 14th to 20th centuries.
Church of the Transfiguration
1 E 29th St
Standing around the high-rise condominiums in the neighborhood of Madison Square, the historic structure of the Church of Transfiguration is called the Little Church around the Corner for its location. It was built in 1849 and was given a US landmark title in 1973.
New York though is not defined mainly for its religion. There is actually more to the city than its churches and religious structures.