Twin Cities residents celebrate diverse faith traditions, making Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding metro the perfect place to be for those who hold spirituality at the core of their lives. With congregations representing over a dozen faith traditions, finding a place of worship and fellowship is easy no matter your religion or denomination.
Many Twin Cities churches represent the Protestant branch of Christianity, whether they identify as Lutheran, United Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical Free or even non-denominational, and a wide variety of churches represent different worship formats from traditional to contemporary.
Lutherans make up 26 percent of the Minnesotan population as reported by Pew Research Center’s 2015 Religious Landscape Study, and Mount Olivet Lutheran Church serves about 13,000 of them. Its two campuses (one conveniently located just south of downtown Minneapolis) have been serving the Twin Cities area for more than 90 years. Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities, which is ELCA-affiliated, also has two campuses—one in Minneapolis and the other in a western suburb of Minnetonka.
There are also many non-denominational churches to choose from. Church of the Open Door is a non-denominational congregation serving thousands of singles, couples and families in a beautiful facility in Maple Grove, while Eagle Brook Church spreads itself across six campuses in the Twin Cities metro, making it one of the largest non-denominational places of worship in the area. Grace Church, located in Eden Prairie, is one of the largest non-denominational houses of worship, often hosting concerts with Christian artists. Substance Church has a saying that goes, “Church doesn’t start until the service is over,” but that doesn’t stop thousands of people from flocking to its arts-focused services at its two locations in Spring Lake Park and downtown Minneapolis.
Thanks to our many LGBTQ-friendly (otherwise known as “reconciling” or “welcoming”) congregations, it is also easy to find an accepting congregation here in the Twin Cities. Good Samaritan United Methodist Church in Edina, St. Stephen’s (Lutheran) in Bloomington and Edina Community Lutheran Church are among the many welcoming congregations. Another option is Bloom, a less formal congregation that began in 2008 and meets at a St. Paul middle school building. Bloom follows a less traditional approach to worship that includes group discussion, open conversations and questions.
The Twin Cities also have congregations that can provide support in physical and mental illness or disability. Located in Minneapolis, Zion Lutheran Church hosts a weekly Recovery Worship service for those struggling with addiction, mental health issues, grief or loss.
Our congregations also reflect the rich diversity of the Twin Cities’ cultures, with congregations representative of North Africa, Southeast Asia and more. The Twin City Chinese Christian Church in Roseville is trilingual, offering services in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. The St. Paul Hmong Alliance Church—the country’s largest Hmong Christian church—holds traditional Hmong services, children’s services and services in English. Many churches also provide language services, such as American Sign Language (ASL), and others complete worship services at Bread of Life Deaf Lutheran Church and Deaf Life Church, both located in St. Paul.
On the Minneapolis side of the river stands the Basilica of Saint Mary; on the St. Paul side is the Cathedral of Saint Paul. These two prominent cornerstones of Catholic faith have served the Twin Cities for hundreds of years, serving as houses of worship for both American and immigrant populations. In addition to regular masses, these churches open their doors for individuals to visit and live out their faith through daily prayer and confession.
To better serve the Hmong-American community, the Cathedral of Saint Paul merged with the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul in 2012. With about 22 percent of Minnesota’s population identifying as Catholic according to Pew Research Center, churches have worked to break down language barriers as well. Within the Archdiocese of St. Paul, there are 23 parishes serving the Latino community. Parishes also serve members of the Korean, French, Filipino and Vietnamese communities with language-specific services.
Minnesota is home to a significant Jewish population with over 45,000 Jewish people living in the state since 2016. Temple Israel, a large Reform synagogue, housed the first Jewish congregation in Minneapolis in 1878. Today, it is one of the 10 largest Jewish temples in the country, serving a diverse group of people in its urban location. The Temple also provides large-print prayer books, ASL-interpretation and hearing devices to make its services more accessible.
Another Reform temple, Mount Zion Jewish Temple, is located in St. Paul and offers weekly Shabbat and daily services. Mount Zion welcomes all to its worship, accepting those of mixed religious backgrounds and LGBTQ community members. Located in an idyllic neighborhood of South Minneapolis, Shir Tikvah (translated as “song of hope”) is a Jewish Reform synagogue for those in all walks of life. Beth El Synagogue is a conservative Jewish community located in St. Louis Park that serves nearly 2,000 families. There are also several Orthodox Jewish congregations in the Twin Cities, including Congregation Bais Yisroel, Congregation Darchei Noam and Kenesseth Israel Congregation, all of which are located in St. Louis Park.
The Twin Cities have an ever-growing list of mosques, and at the regional epicenter of this faith tradition is the Islamic Center of Minnesota, which was founded in 1969 by a group of Muslim students. At its Fridley location, the Islamic Center of Minnesota also provides services including counseling, language classes, a food shelf, youth services, financial assistance and a private school, called Al-Amal, for preK through grade 12 students. The community space also oversees Abu Khadra Masjid, a satellite location in Columbia Heights with Halaqas and daily prayers. In Burnsville, the Burnsville Mosque and the Garden of Eden Islamic Cemetery operate under the umbrella of the Islamic Institute of Minnesota, a nonprofit supporting Muslims in the community.
The Hindu population has thrived in the Twin Cities ever since the establishment of the Hindu Society of Minnesota in 1978. The organization’s authentic, traditionally constructed Hindu temple, located in Maple Grove, is a beautiful gem on the horizon, and on the inside, you can find resources and support for those practicing Hinduism or for those who are interested in it. Another community temple is the Minnesota Hindu Dharmic Sabha Vishnu Mandir located in Minneapolis. This intimate temple was established in 1985 and serves a congregation of about 100 families.
There are more than 30 places of worship for the Buddhist faith around the Twin Cities. St. Paul’s Clouds in Water Zen Center welcomes people from all faith backgrounds for daily meditations, classes, workshops and Dharma talks. Minnesota Zen Meditation Center is another destination for those wanting to learn more about the discipline of Zen Buddhist meditation, and children and adults can learn more about the teachings of Buddha at Minnesota Buddhist Vihara, a Theraveda monastery that regularly hosts cultural events.
Unitarian Universalist churches, located throughout the Twin Cities metro, provide community and meaningful teachings for members of diverse faith backgrounds and beliefs. Similarly, the Minnesota Council of Churches is an organization that engages with interfaith relations by promoting and honoring all beliefs and traditions and bringing people together for dialogue, education, meals, services and prayer.