Ogboni African Church


East 170th Street and the blocks around it have undergone an interesting ethnic and religious succession. Streets that once heard the Yiddish language of Eastern Europe now resonate to the Yoruba language of Western Nigeria. In the fifties, several synagogues thrived in the area including the Young Israel of Claremont Parkway (more about that congregation another time) and two shteiblach: modest, Hasidic influenced places of worship. Today in addition to the churches serving the African-American community stand the Imole Adinni Mosque, which was founded by immigrants from Nigeria and across the street the Ogboni African Church, which was incorporated in 1985. Ogboni is the term for a society among the Yoruba culture, whose pantheon of gods also influenced Hispanic religious folk culture, especially in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

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