"Evangelicals over the past couple of decades have been the most purposeful when it comes to racial integration. We see this from the 1990s with the racial reconciliation movement, and after that you began to hear a lot about wanting to move toward racial integration in religious organizations. There's a movement out there. Evangelical churches are hearing about it, and some are committing to it."

"If you look at straight numbers, evangelicals and all churches are not doing well. On the other hand, when you see that evangelicals emphasize that one's religious identity should be more important than anything else, they have a very interesting capacity for creating a new identity that rallies people of different races and ethnicities. Individuals are willing to accentuate religious identities over ethnic identities within some local churches."

"Something is really changing in evangelicalism, and it's this social movement towards being diverse congregations. The large churches are at the forefront; we're seeing that. But this is just going to grow over time. Churches have been the most segregated by far, so in one sense it's catching up to that. But I think it's way beyond that; because this has theological grounding, it will go way beyond society, and eventually the church will be the place that's the most integrated."

"It is in a pioneer stage. Ten years ago it was on the fringe; it's now becoming a topic of conversation. People are just beginning to understand this is more than a good idea, it is New Testament Christianity, and it's about the gospel in the 21st century. They've embraced the conversation but haven't committed to the idea as a critical component of the Church."

"We have the best potential, in that Christians have ...

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March 2010

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