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Church Planting resources arranged by topic
Unique people group resources and places in need of churches
This article was published in On Mission Magazine
Driving through Silver Spring, Maryland, you will find multiple religious sites
dotting the skyline a microcosm of what is happening in most metro areas in the
United States. It isnt unusual to find a Buddhist religious center, an Islamic
mosque, a Hindu temple, a Jewish synagogue and a church located in the same
neighborhood. One of the driving forces behind a growing multi-religious
America is the tsunami of Asians who emigrated to the U.S. in the 1990sa great
and untapped mission field.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian-Americans numbering 13.1 million in
2004 are growing faster than any other racial group.1 They are
projected to grow to 33.4 million by 2050.2
Asian-Americans (including Pacific Islanders) tend to be in households
consisting of families (73 percent), live in the western United States (49
percent), are affiuent (2002 median household income was $52,018 compared to
the national average $42,409), and are highly educated (47 percent have a
bachelors degree or higher compared to 27 percent of the general
population).3 In 2001, they made up 4.4 percent of the U.S.
population. In Canada, 58 percent of those who immigrated into the country in
the 1990s were from Asia (18.4 percent of Canadians are foreign-born). China
and South Asia were the two leading immigrant-sending regions.4
THE MISSION FIELD
Although Asian-American is a term of convenience to lump people coming from
Asia into one category, in reality Asian-Americans consist of a highly diverse
mix of cultures and religions. Most Asian-Americans are not Christian. They
come from countries where they have probably never had a chance to clearly hear
the gospel even once.
Some may consider Christ to be a great teacher; others may even see Jesus as
one of the many manifestations of God (or gods). It is heartening to note that
many churches in America are reaching out not only to Asian-Americans, but also
to the many sub-groups represented. The fact that many such people-groups are
living all around us is Gods invitation to reach them with the good news of
The Church Planting Group and the Evangelization Group at the North American
Mission Board can assist you in effectively sharing the gospel with and
reaching out to these people groups. You can contact the Church Planting Group
at email@example.com and the
Evangelization Group at 770-410-6336.
ASIANS IN AMERICA
About one-quarter of the foreignborn people in the United States were born in
Asia. Almost half have a bachelors degree or higher (compared to 27 percent of
the general population) and 16 percent have an advanced degree (compared to 9
percent of the general population). About 15 percent of all physicians and
surgeons in the U.S. are Asian- Americans. Witnessing to someone with an
affiuent, educated background demands that we be able to present the gospel in
an intellectual manner and be prepared to answer questions relating to
THE NEED TO BELONG
Most Asian-Americans come from a collectivist culture where belonging to a
group or family is valued more than being individualistic.
Those who have recently come to the United States are yearning to build
meaningful communities. This is where the church and Christians can step in.
Start by inviting them to non-threatening church events such as picnics,
potlucks, concerts, plays, festivals, etc. Get to know your Asian friend and
concentrate on building a relationship.
Chances are, even if your Asian friend is convinced of the truth of the gospel,
he or she will consider accepting Christ in light of how it will impact his or
her family. Family loyalty is strong. Be sensitive and pray diligently if you
see your Asian friend struggle with this issue.
In the next section we will cover two of the largest Asian groups in our
midstChinese-Americans and Asian Indians. We hope you will see and better
understand who these people are and how God can use you to plant the gospel in
DID YOU KNOW?
1. More than half of Asian-Americans live in just three states California, New
York and Hawaii.
2. The top 10 locations with the highest proportion of Asian-Americans are in
the western U.S. (nine are in California).
3. There are 351,000 Asian-American military veterans.Source: U.S. Census Bureau
ASIAN-AMERICANS BY ETHNIC ORIGIN (2000):
1. Chinese (2,734,841)
2. Filipino (2,364,815)
3. Asian Indian (1,899,599)
4. Korean (1,228,427)
5. Vietnamese (1,223,736)
6. Japanese (1,148,932)Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Asian American Population 2000
STATES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF ASIAN-AMERICANS
(including Asian in combination with another race):
1. California (4,155,685)
2. New York (1,169,200)
3. Hawaii (703,232)
4. Texas (644,193)
5. New Jersey (524,356)
6. Illinois (473,649)
7. Washington (395,741)
8. Florida (333,013)
9. Virginia (304,559)
10. Massachusetts (264,814)Source: U.S. Census 2000
1. Source: U.S. Census Bureau publication titled Asian Pacific American
Heritage Month: April 2004.
4. Source: Statistics Canada (www.statcan.ca)
Rajendra Pillai, originally from Calcutta, India, speaks on crosscultural
issues across the continent. He is the author of Reaching the World in Our Own
Backyard (WaterBrook Press, 2003) and lives in Damascus, Maryland.
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