In an urban context, the immigrant church is not only a place of worship, but it is also a community hub, a cultural center, and a social gathering place. When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, there began a ripple effect of economic, social and mental health impacts. This study explores the use of social capital at three Korean immigrant churches in the Greater Toronto Area and Metro Vancouver to demonstrate community resilience. This research explores how and what kinds of supports were provided between the leadership and congregation, as well as between congregant-to-congregant. Although the physical locations were closed, the communications infrastructure and social relationships that existed prior to COVID were instrumental in sustaining a support network for Korean churchgoers during the pandemic. The immigrant church is a valuable urban asset that cities ought to support and partner with for future shock and stress events.
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Thesis advisor: Fourot, Aude-Claire
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