October 5, 2007
One of the statistics I cited during my 9/26 presentation on revitalizing Asian American churches was “56% Asian Americans unchurched”. This number came from The Barna Update, dated March 20, 2006, specifically, “People groups with abnormally high levels of church avoidance include Asians (56%)…”. To qualify this number, it helps to understand how the research was done:
The data in this report are based on interviews with 1003 adults from across the nation. These telephone surveys were conducted by The Barna Group, during January 2006, based upon a random sample of people 18 years of age and older living within the 48 continental states. The maximum margin of sampling error associated with the aggregate sample of adults is ±3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. In the research, the distribution of survey respondents corresponded to the geographic dispersion of the U.S. population.
So what does this statistic imply? Very simply, there are still many Asian Americans who are unchurched. And among each specific ethnic group, be it Chinese American, Korean American, Japanese American, Vietnamese American, or others, there may well be very wide differences. I do not know of comprehensive research that gives detailed analysis for church attendance statistics of specific ethic groups. What I want to do at this point is to post this information, and invite your feedback to help grow our understanding in this area and cite other related research.
Some other related statistics about Asian Americans and Christianity is excerpted below from this AAJA Voices article (Asian American Journalists Association), Christianity sees boost among Asian American students:
Student Jacqueline Ng loves a man she has never met in person, but she is not talking about a virtual relationship of any sort.
Instead, the 22-year-old graduate student from UC San Diego is one of the more than 700,000 Asian Americans who began professing their love for God at Christian churches, increasing their numbers within several denominations since 2003.
Asian American attendance in Roman Catholic churches was up to almost 2 million between 2003 and 2005, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies recently reported. There have also been increases in attendance at Protestant churches.
Christianity has attracted between 43 and 50 percent of Asian Americans, according to surveys by the American Religious Identification Survey and The Barna Group, a Christian research organization.
The number of Asian Americans belonging to InterVarsity increased 360 percent across the nation, from 788 students in 1982 to 2,837 students in 1992. Asian Americans now comprise 10.8 percent of all the organization’s 4,597 students in 2006, although their growth is not as rapid as it was in the 1980s, Ikoma-Motzko said.
Link to this article: