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The new annexe to the Loves Creek Baptist Church perches on a small hill, like a long bungalow. Inside, the congregation stands with arms raised and eyes closed, swaying to the music and testifying to the glory of the Lord. The men are in neatly pressed white shirts; the women in pastel frocks and sandals.

Just what you’d expect from a Baptist church in god-fearing rural North Carolina. Except that everyone-pastor, flock, even the wild-haired trio on electric piano and guitars-is a recent arrival from Mexico, belting out hymns and prayers in deafening, raucous Spanish.

“First time I realised we…

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