I've always been fascinated by the growth of evangelical faith in Asian-American contexts. Early in my ministry, I served as the English service preacher at the Buffalo Chinese Christian Church-- and later did some training for Overseas Chinese Mission. It was not for long, but long enough to get me interested in the culture and what God was doing there.
It has almost become a stereotype that some of the largest university student ministries in at many universities are predominantly Asian. So, I am interested when real research comes out.
Cathy Grossman digs a little deeper and provides a fascinating analysis of some new Pew Forum data in USAToday:
Asian Americans are "the fastest-growing race group, and they are bringing with them a diversity of faiths," says Cary Funk, senior researcher for Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which released the report today.
The survey of 3,511 adults, conducted in English and seven Asian languages, was large enough to establish data about the six largest groups: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.
• The greatest overall number (42%) are Christians, chiefly Protestant or Roman Catholic. Fourteen percent are Buddhist, and 10% are Hindu. Twenty-six percent are unaffiliated.
• National origin makes a difference. Korean Americans may be politically conservative because 40% are evangelical Protestants.
• All but one group was dominated by a single religion -- or lack of religion.
Chinese Americans are overwhelmingly unaffiliated (52%), and Catholicism is dominant for Filipino Americans (65%). A majority of Indian Americans are Hindu (51%), and most Korean Americans are Protestant (61%). Buddhists dominate among Vietnamese Americans (43%). Japanese Americans are more diverse: 33% Protestant, 32% unaffiliated and 25% Buddhist.
• The Christians are particularly devout: Three out of four Asian-American evangelical Protestants (76%) say they attend church weekly, compared with 64% of U.S. white evangelicals.
• Buddhists and Hindus cling to traditions in largely Christian America: 67% of Buddhists say they believe in ancestral spirits; 78% of Hindus say they maintain a shrine in their home, and 95% say they celebrate Diwali, a Hindu festival of light.
• Like most Americans who mix traditions, the Asian-American survey finds 76% of Buddhists and 73% of Hindus also celebrate Christmas. Exactly how they mark it -- as a secular celebration or as the birth of Jesus, the Christian savior -- was not asked in the survey.
Mark Altrogge provides some helpful counsel about humility:
We must put humility on. This doesn't mean we fake it, but that we begin to do it, even though it takes effort. Putting on humility isn't easy. After all, it's not easy to be humble when we're as great as we are. But it can be done.
Here are a few suggestions for how to put on humility:
1. Listen to others.
2. Be teachable.
3. Don't blame others for your sins.
4. Don't be so sure you're right all the time.
5. Take an interest in others.
6. Ask for forgiveness; don't just say I'm sorry.
7. Ask for prayer for areas of weakness and temptation.
Yesterday, I mentioned the historic move that Wheaton College recently made over religious liberty concerns. Christianity Today has an interview with more details:
The Wheaton College Board of Trustees has been concerned about the Health and Human Services mandate from the very time that it was first delivered to us, back in September. The Wheaton College board has been keeping abreast of developments throughout the year. I have written on several occasions both to the secretary of Health and Human Services and to the President expressing our concerns on issues of religious liberty as it relates to the mandate. We've also been working in concert with other evangelical institutions here at the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities throughout the year on these issues. By May, the Wheaton College Board of Trustees decided that no remedy was yet forthcoming and therefore it was important for us to file a lawsuit. However, we decided we wanted to wait until the Supreme Court made its decision on the health insurance mandate generally, at the end of June, in case there would be some remedy forthcoming through the Supreme Court decision. When that proved not to be the case, we were ready to file a lawsuit.
Wheaton College is not a partisan institution and the effect of our filing on any political process has played no part at all in any of our board discussions on the issue. The timing of things is driven primarily by the mandate itself. Wheaton College stands to face punitive fines already on January 1, 2013, and I am welcoming incoming freshmen in two weeks. It's already an issue for us in terms of our health insurance and what we provide for this coming academic year. Although we wanted to wait for the Supreme Court decision out of respect for the legal system, we do not believe that we can wait any longer.