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Church Planting resources arranged by topic
Unique people group resources and places in need of churches
When you say "Asian" you may think of Toyota,
chopsticks, egg rolls, Buddhist temples, as well as people groups. These people
greatly assisted America in becoming a progressive country by helping build
railroads; working on farms, plantations, and fisheries; serving in the
military; providing nurses, doctors, dentists, and bilingual experts in
technological professions; and establishing family-owned businesses.
These people—the Southeast Asians, the South Asians, and the Pacific Asians—are
from different multiethnic and multinational Asian groups. They bring to North
America their varying languages, religions, cultures, and subcultures. One may
come from Christianized Manila, Philippines; another from one of the
still-animistic tribal villages of Laos. One Asian may come from the
overcrowded Buddhist city of Bombay, India; one from the multireligious modern
city of Tokyo, Japan; one from the culturally traditional island of Tonga; and
still another from a Muslim town of Pakistan. They keep coming because of the
open doors of migration, and the military, marriage, and money-making
opportunities under the umbrella of freedom and justice. They become part of
the American mosaic and experience the confusing and dividing tensions of
religious, social, political, and cultural changes in their new country.
Many Asian families in America have more than one generation level.
First-generation Asians are still mostly monocultural and monolingual. Many of
this generation still feel like outsiders, aliens, or strangers.
Second-generation Asians are assimilated into the American language and
culture. Whether they are foreign-born or American-born, you can help them make
a better transition into the American society. In so doing, you will have an
opportunity to share with them the new life to be found in Jesus Christ and
help them become part of a New Testament fellowship of believers in their
Asians in North America: In Brief
Asians in America—the third largest and fastest-growing US ethnic
group—encompass Southeast Asians from Cambodia, China, Korea, Laos, Japan,
Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; South Asians from Bangladesh, Bautan,
India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; and Pacific Asians from Guam,
Micronesia, Samoa, and Tonga. Asians immigrated to the United States as early
as the 1800s. Today they continue to come. Thousands come every year to join
their families. Others come seeking the traditional benefits of the American
society. In 1998, there were an estimated 20 million first- and
second-generation Asians in North America. The US Bureau of Census predicts
that these numbers will more than double by the year 2020. California has
America's largest Asian population of nearly 4 million. California is followed
by New York, Hawaii, Texas, and Illinois.
However, Asian-Americans live in metropolitan cities in all states. Linked by
more than racial similarities and origin, Asians exhibit strong ties to family
and traditions. While they are eager to learn the skills necessary for American
society, they are reluctant to give up some customs and native languages.
Religion is important to Asians. It is part of their culture. Most Asians come
to North America as non-Christians. Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, animism,
and a combined form of Christian and non-Christian beliefs dominate the
religious lives of Asians. Southern Baptist witness and ministry to Asians in
the United States and Canada is growing dramatically.
Nearly 2,000 Baptist congregations have been established among the Asians, and
more are envisioned for the twenty-first century. An example of this is the
more than 700 Korean congregations and the more than 180 Filipino churches
across North America. Yet great opportunities still exist. Southern Baptists
face a dynamic challenge in the United States and Canada to reach out to both
foreign-born and American-born Asians. You can help. Pray for those
working with Asians in North America. Give to support North American
missions. Be active in missions among Asians in North America.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2010 North American Mission Board, SBC