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Recent discussions of racial justice and racial reconciliation have led to an increased interest in the relationship between people of color and majority culture churches and institutions. Many Asian-Americans (AsAms) who have been a part of majority culture churches are experiencing a renewed interest in returning to ethnic minority churches. After a period of integration into diverse majority culture congregations why would many AsAms be looking to return to less diverse ethnic minority churches? Recently, I have been asked about this question, as well as the question of how majority culture churches can better serve AsAm members in their congregations. In light of the current interest in these questions, I thought I would share some background and perspective that can be helpful to majority culture churches serving AsAm members.
Before delving in, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how indebted AsAms are to the many impactful voices in African-American, Latinx, and Native American contexts who have written and spoken at length about the complex dynamics involving majority culture Christians and people of color. Many of the cross-cultural and racial dynamics surfaced by these voices apply to the relationship between AsAms and majority culture Christians. However, the unique history of Asians in America and particular characteristics of AsAm communities warrant a more nuanced look at the relationship between AsAm believers and majority culture churches.
Stage - Aspects - History - Communities - People
I’d like to set the stage by touching on two aspects of Asian-American history that set our communities apart from other people of color. First, there is the term, “Asian-American,” which both simplifies and clouds the way majority culture views Asian immigrants. Asian immigrants actually represent a very broad spectrum of Asian nations and cultures. Asians-Americans consist of people from East Asian nations, such as China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Asian-Americans also hail from Southeast...
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