08 April 2008

Asian-American Campus Ministries

This is a very worrisome trend, showing the flaws in the Asian-American community. In fact, I've cut off contact with my middle school buddy over this very subject.

The following East Bay Express article covers UC Berkeley's Christian ministries, and the rising ranks of Asian-Americans in them. Though the article is written in glowing, positive perspective, the reader comments at the end tell the true story. Asian-Americans, being raised in conservative suburban neighborhoods under the self-sacrificial, communal, Confucian mindsets of their immigrant parents, naturally gravitate to the similar values of evangelical Christianity; in fact, it is one of the few ways that Asian-American college students can find relief from the overbearing expectations of their parents, under a "forgiving Father." (Forgiving, honestly, is the very last thing that ever comes to mind, when I think of evangelical Christianity.)

The most important trend is that while the first wave of Asian takeover of these ministries was primarily Korean, the current wave is mostly Chinese, some rebelling against the atheist mindset of mainland China, others corrupted by their Korean friends who use Korean popular culture as Trojan horses.

Many of these newly minted evangelicals give up their parents' expectations of high-paying science/medical career, since the science classes teach theories contrary to the Christian worldview; they end up doing ministry fulltime.

If this doesn't spell Yellow Peril (alongside the activities of the Unification Church), I don't know what does. These new evangelicals may consider Reverend Moon a cult leader, but they will still agree with him that LGBTs must be converted or exterminated, that the separation of church and state must end, and that the Crusades must continue in the Middle East. In any case, a way for Asian-Americans to belong somewhere, in not-so-oppressive religious format, must be found, as the community continues to mature. The evangelical trend is as much about lack of alternatives and individualist spirit for Asian-American youth as it is about religion.

East Bay Express