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One is a Pentecostal, mostly African American congregation of 22,000, led by a world-renowned bishop with global ministries that extend to Africa and Haiti.

The other is one of the largest Latino evangelical churches in the city, whose Spanish-language ministries serve more than 4,000 members, most of them Salvadoran and Mexican immigrants and their children.

Located just four blocks apart along Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles, the two mega-churches – West Angeles Church of God in Christ and Iglesias de Restauracion – had never broken bread together, as cultural and linguistic differences kept them apart.

But that all changed Thursday night, when more than 1,500 believers from both churches worshiped together in what organizers billed as a historic attempt to overcome black-brown differences through shared faith and a sacred covenant to jointly address the violence, poverty and health problems that afflict both communities.

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