alarming statistics about American Born Chinese

According to this promotional video for the recent Render Conference (near Houston), less than 2% of American Born Chinese (ABCs) attend church here in the United States.

I’m not sure where that statistic comes from, as I do not know of a comprehensive study that documents this demographics’ church attendance, but if it is anywheres near accurate, and it may be in certain localities, it shows us the urgency of reaching this next generation.

What is your sense of how many American Born Chinese and/or next generation Asian Americans attend church?

6 thoughts on “alarming statistics about American Born Chinese

  1. David Park

    I’ve heard as low as 3% for Korean Americans, although I don’t have a source for that either. I’ll see if I can get some numbers however…

  2. Ben Pun

    I’d like to know the source of the stat as well…it seems like I here a different stat every time I here it. Growing up with other ABC’s, I got the impression that church and asian american college ministries was sort of a social gathering place for asian americans, even those who weren’t devoutly religious. So I got the sense that many asian-americans were exposed to church. But I may have merely been enclosed in the asian american christian bubble.

  3. LT

    Less than 2% doesn’t surprise me as if any number would be comforting or satisfactory. If I have my numbers correct, we have somewhere around 1.1million ABCs. So you do the math. You’d probably find many of them on the coasts. The ABC population will only continue to grow (approx. 30-40k a year) as there are roughly 3.5million Chinese in America.
    We tend to think our churches may be full or ok but in reality there are many people outside of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (over 95%).
    Thanks for the updates from the conference. I’d love to know more about what came about through this conference.

  4. Pingback: ABCs and Church « abcpastor

  5. DJ Chuang

    Pastor Fred Tow was kind enough to respond to my request for the sources behind the statistics.

    According to Samuel Ling, “The Degree of Reachedness among ABC’s in U.S.A. is 1%” (from “The Challenge of Reaching American-Born Chinese: A Regional Report of Local-Born Ministry for North America,” an Essay in In Season, Out of Season: Essays on the History of the Chinese Church. St. Louis, Missouri: Covenant Theological Library, 1986, p. 14-1.)

    And, Pastor Tow made an intelligent estimation derived from 2 sources, projecting that: “2.5% of American Born Chinese attend Chinese churches.” (based on projections derived from Derek Quan’s “Finding Ministry Success for American-Born Chinese Pastors in the Overseas-Born Dominant Chinese Bi-Cultural Church.” D. Min. diss., Phoenix Seminary, 2004, pp. 17-18; and Abraham Hei-Yue Poon, “San Jose Chinese Alliance Church: A Mono-Ethnic/Multi-Cultural Model.” D. Min. diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 1992, p. 146.)

    So, that’s where the “1 to 2%” statistic comes from.

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