With permission from Russell Jeung, we are grateful for being able to post yesterday’s talk online. Here’s the audio (mp3 – run time = 42:17) and slides from his March 6th presentation about Asian American religious affiliation >>
Bread of Life is hosting me to present a series, “Asian Americans in the Lions’ Den: A Study of Daniel” in which I compare the Jews in exile to Asian American Christians. The series discusses how being Asian American relates to our faith. The titles are:
Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review (Volume 67, Number 2; Summer 2006) had a special issue on the topic of: CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE CHINESE, edited by Fenggang Yang and Joseph B. Tamney. A number of interesting topics were explored:
Exploring Mass Conversion to Christianity among the Chinese: An Introduction
Social and Cultural Contexts in Conversion to Christianity among Chinese American College Students
How Religious Organizations Influence Chinese Conversion to Evangelical Protestantism in the United States
Favor Fishing and Punch-Bowl Christians: Ritual and Conversion in a Chinese Protestant Church
More Than Evangelical and Ethnic: The Ecological Factor in Chinese Conversion to Christianity in the United States
Conversion to Protestantism among Urban Immigrants in Taiwan
Its content are not readily available online, so you’ll probably need to visit an academic library to read these articles.
Across the country, on secular campuses as varied as Colgate University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Berkeley, chaplains, professors and administrators say students are drawn to religion and spirituality with more fervor than at any time they can remember.
More students are enrolling in religion courses, even majoring in religion; more are living in dormitories or houses where matters of faith and spirituality are a part of daily conversation; and discussion groups are being created for students to grapple with questions like what happens after death, dozens of university officials said in interviews.
A survey on the spiritual lives of college students, the first of its kind, showed in 2004 that more than two-thirds of 112,000 freshmen surveyed said they prayed, and that almost 80 percent believed in God. Nearly half of the freshmen said they were seeking opportunities to grow spiritually, according to the survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
One out of four Evangelical college students at New York City colleges and universities are Asian American. At Harvard, Asian Americans constitute 70 percent of the Harvard Radcliffe Christian Fellowship, and given the popularity of Evangelical Christian fellowships, one can easily spot students who proudly don t-shirts with phrases like “the Asian Awakening”. At Yale, Campus Crusade for Christ is 90 percent Asian, whereas twenty years ago it was 100 percent white. On the West Coast, the Asian American membership at Stanford’s InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) from 1989 to 1999, increased by 84 percent, compared to a 31 percent increase in its overall membership. Meanwhile, UC Berkeley and UCLA have more than fifty Asian Christian fellowships and most of their members are Asian American. UCLA alone has more than ten Korean Christian related fellowships.
The number of religious believers in China could be far higher than previously reported, according to a new survey. Nearly a third of the 4,500 people surveyed described themselves as religious in the poll, by two professors at East China Normal University in Shanghai. The proportion suggests that 300 million people in China could be religious, three times the official figure of 100 million. China Daily, the official English-language newspaper, said two-thirds of the respondents followed traditional religions like Taoism or Buddhism. The survey also suggested that China might have 40 million or more Christians; the latest official estimate, in 2005, put the figure at 16 million.