An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church

First, read the letter...(click here or on the image below for PDF) and then scroll down if you would like to sign, too.

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Sign the Open Letter to the Evangelical Church

Read the full letter - http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Open-Letter_AAU_PDF.pdf

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951 signatures

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Postscript:

While this letter was being circulated for signatures, Exponential released an apology. We are grateful the apology (a) acknowledged the harm caused by the video, (b) unreservedly accepted responsibility for the video’s content, (c) explained the organization’s intention (without excusing the offense), and (d) invited intentional discussion and relationship-building. One of Exponential’s leaders, Dave Ferguson, has personally contacted several of the letter’s signatories to begin those relationships. Exponential’s response to the Asian American community’s concerns has been refreshingly different from the other incidents described in “Asian American Christians United” letter above.

We decided to post the letter even though Exponential offered a sincere apology because we desire to draw attention to the broader pattern of orientalizing Asian American believers by the evangelical church (the video being only the latest iteration of this problem). When (largely dominant culture) organizations ignore, belittle, or misappropriate Asian/Asian American cultures in ways which likely would not happen to other cultures, it reflects an exercise of dominant culture privilege. Dominant culture organizations can pick-and-choose which cultures to be “sensitive” to. This letter asks the dominant culture to begin to pay attention to our communities’ history and experiences.

This letter also invites dominant culture organizations to listen to and learn from the Asian American community. Please also note that we have more to offer than just cross-cultural skills and ethnic sensitivity training. We too are engaged in worship, mission, discipleship, theological reflection, and vibrant worship. Authentically reconciled communities avoid the tokenism of engaging with minority peoples only when race, ethnicity or culture are under consideration.

Sincerely,
The Organizing Committee
(Ken Fong, Greg Jao, Kathy Khang, Ken Kong, Christine Lee, Helen Lee, David Park, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Sam Tsang, Justin Tse, Tim Tseng, and Daniel So)

Here is a list of the signatories for the “Open Letter”:

A.C. Acosta
Global Intercultural Services (GLINTS)
Keystone College

Jay Catanus
Lead Pastor, Northwest Filipino Baptist Church

Peter Cha, LMFT
Clinical Director
Redeemer Counseling Services

Peter T. Cha
Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology
Trinity International University

Sabrina Chan
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Calvin Chinn
Honorably Retired
Former Co-Pastor of the Presbyterian Church
Chinatown, San Francisco

Eugene Cho
Lead Pastor, Quest Church
Founder, One Day’s Wages

Minhee Jin Cho
Family & Marriage Therapist
Co-Founder, One Day’s Wages

Ricky Y. Choi, MD, MPH
Pediatrician
Elder, Mission Bay Community Church

Virstan B.Y. Choy
Director, Advanced Pastoral Studies Program
Associate Professor of Ministry
San Francisco Theological Seminary

Jason Chu
Hip-Hop Artist

Richard Chuman
JEMS Executive Director

Christie Heller de Leon
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Ken Fong
Senior Pastor, Evergreen Baptist Church of LA
Executive Director, Asian American Initiative,
Fuller Seminary

Justin Fung
Associate Pastor, The District Church

Tracey Gee
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Sam George
Executive Director, Parivar International

Young Lee Hertig
Executive Director, ISAAC
(Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity)
Organizing Pastor of Shalom Cafe

Jennifer Hollingsworth
Area Director, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Wendy Hu-Au
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Rev. Jennifer Ikoma-Motzko
Senior Pastor, Japanese Baptist Church (Seattle, WA)

Youwan Kang
English Pastor, Mountain View Chinese Christian Church

Erin Kawaye
OMF International

Kathy Khang
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Rebecca Kim
Perspectives Study Program NE Regional Director

Ken Kong
Director of The Southeast Asian Catalyst

Greg Jao
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Russell Jeung, Ph.D.
Professor, San Francisco State University,
Asian American Studies

Anne Joh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Director, Center for Asian/Asian American Ministries
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Helen Jin Kim
Committee on the Study of Religion
Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard Graduate School
of Arts and Sciences

Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Ph.D.
President and Professor of Hebrew Bible
Claremont School of Theology

Andrew Lee, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor, Chinese Christian Union Church

Audrey S. Lee
Author, Leadership Coach and Multicultural Strategist

Rev. Boyung Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Director, API Program Initiative
Pacific School of Religion &
Graduate Theological Union

Rev. Christine Lee
All Angels’ Church

Daniel D. Lee
Associate Director of Asian American Initiative
Fuller Theological Seminary

Helen Lee
Author and Speaker

Tat-Siong Benny Liew
Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies
College of the Holy Cross

Henry Lucey-Lee
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Joseph S. Lee
Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of San Jose

Louis Lee
Pastor, Chinese Community Church, Sacramento, CA
Founder/General Director of MESA
(Ministries for English Speaking Asians)

Matthew Lee, Ph.D.
Lead Church Planter, Grace Life L.A.

Bo H. Lim, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Seattle Pacific University

C. Jimmy Lin
President/Founder, Rare Genomics Institute

Jeff Liou
Ph.D. Candidate, Theology & Culture
Fuller Theological Seminary

K.C. Liu
Director of Passion for the Nations

Rev. Dr. Grace Y. May
Executive Director of Women of Wonder, Inc.
Pastor of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

David Park
Pastor, Open Table Community Church (Atlanta, GA)

Victor Quon
Asian American Christian Fellowship

Soong-Chan Rah
Associate Professor, North Park Theological Seminary

Bruce Reyes-Chow
Author, Speaker and Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Angela Ryo
English Ministry Pastor
Chicago Covenant Presbyterian Church (CCPC)

Roy I. Sano, Ph. D.
Bishop, The United Methodist Church

Glennis Shih
NYC Area Director
Epic Movement

Bob Shim, MD
Missionary, Covenant World Mission
The Evangelical Covenant Church

Grace Shim, LPC
Missionary, Covenant World Mission
Counselor, Cornerstone Counseling Foundation

Daniel So
Pastor, United Presbyterian Church

Ram Sridharan
Area Director, Central Ohio
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Grace Kaori Suzuki, pastor
Christ United Presbyterian Church

Mark Tao
Pastor, Immanuel Evangelical Covenant Church
Chicago, IL

Jason Thomas
Regional Director, Red River (TX, OK & AR)
National South Asian American Coordinator
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Collin T. Tomikawa
Regional Director, Pacific (Northern California,
Northern Nevada & Hawaii)
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Nikki Toyama-Szeto
Author and Speaker

Jonathan Tran, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religion
Baylor University

Joseph Tsang
Senior Pastor, Vision Church of Overseas
Chinese Mission

Sam Tsang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary; Author and Conference Speaker

Justin K.H. Tse
Ph.D. Candidate, University of British
Columbia at Vancouver
Chair, Geography of Religion and Belief Systems
Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers

Tim Tseng, Ph.D.
Pastor at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church
Former Executive Director of ISAAC, Professor

Mienda Uriarte
PCUSA Minister of Word and Sacrament.

Billy Q. Vo
Director, Asian American Ministry Program
Seattle Pacific Seminary and University

Allen Mitsuo Wakabayashi
Pastor at Twin City Bible Church
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Sze-kar Wan, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament,
Perkins School of Theology

Jon Ido Warden
Author and Speaker

Andy Wong
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Brad Wong
Lead Pastor, The River Church Community

Brenda Wong
Hawai’i Area Director
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Leedah Wong, M.Div
Youth and Young Adult Pastor
South Bay Community Church
Fremont, CA

Russell Yee, Ph.D.
Author and Professor

Allen Yeh, D.Phil.
Associate Professor, Intercultural Studies & Missiology
Biola University’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies

Jeanette Yep
Pastor of Global & Regional Outreach
Grace Chapel, Lexington, MA

Calvin Yim, DDS
Dentist
Associate Pastor, Christian Layman Church

Phil Yu
Blogger, Angry Asian Man

***If the widget for signing the letter doesn’t work, feel free to leave a comment below. Please note, new signatures do not load automatically but should appear in a few minutes. Thanks for your patience and understanding! 

Thanks to the additional supporters of this letter:

Latest Signatures
951Angie HongDurham, NC - North CarolinaDec 05, 2014
950Taipan YuSACRAMENTO, CaliforniaFollower of Jesus ChristNov 30, 2014
949Rick Beard, PhDGarden City, MissouriSenior Pastor, Sycamore Grove Mennonite ChurchOct 13, 2014
948Edward LaarmanIowa City, IowaDirector, Geneva Campus MinistryOct 06, 2014
947Peter SztoOmaha, NEAssociate Professor of Social WorkJul 02, 2014
946Rev. Dr. Bob AquinoGurnee, ILSenior PastorJun 29, 2014
945pastor John kChallakere, karnatakapastorJun 28, 2014
944David FloresDallas, TexasFeb 23, 2014
943Samuel ChengHonolulu, HIFeb 23, 2014
942Bishop Dominic LuongSanta Ana, CAAuxiliary Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of OrangeFeb 18, 2014
941Jonathan TanCincinnati, OhioTheologian and authorFeb 12, 2014
940David RappMedford, OregonPastorJan 28, 2014
939Rebecca KimMalibu, CAProfessor of Sociology, Pepperdine UniversityJan 25, 2014
938Amy DeakinLondon Charity workerJan 19, 2014
937Yang ChenAuburn Hills, MIYouth PastorJan 13, 2014
936Solomon (Chae Pung) KimLa Habra, CaliforniaE.M/ Education PastorJan 09, 2014
935EDRAS MEUSPort-au-princePastor I would like working together with your ministries Hope you will visit Haiti for preaching some revivals day who God blessing you all Good news year 2014 Meus Edras Pastor Phon 509 33 31 15 37Dec 31, 2013
934Shu ChanNew York, New YorkDec 18, 2013
933Josephine WangChicago, IllinoisStudentDec 17, 2013
932George Hancock-StefanAtlantic Highlands, NJAssociate Professor of Church History, Palmer Theological SeminaryDec 09, 2013
931Brenda TapleyCaliforniaWorship PastorDec 03, 2013
930Joyce Kimnew york city, nyNov 22, 2013
929Shannon MarionBlanchardville, WINov 20, 2013
928Kelly VaughnBelmont, CAAssociate Professor, School of Education and LeadershipNov 20, 2013
927Gerald Liu Louisville, KentuckyVisiting Professor of Worship & Consultant for Diversity in Worship, Louisville Presbyterian Theological SeminaryNov 17, 2013
926Kelly LeeEnglewood, NJNov 16, 2013
925Jennia Francoorlando, FloridaStudentNov 15, 2013
924Brian ChangRochester, NYStudent, University of RochesterNov 14, 2013
923Katherine YuFairfax Station, VAUndergraduate Student, University of VirginiaNov 13, 2013
922Francois AugustinBoston, MANov 13, 2013
921Michael KarimMonrovia, CaliforniaAssistant Area Director, InterVarsity Christian FellowshipNov 11, 2013
920Shaina DavidsonNov 11, 2013
919Fr. Dave BottomsAnglican Priest, Army ChaplainNov 08, 2013
918Scot GillanNaperville, IllinoisSr. Pastor, Naperville Evangelical Covenant ChurchNov 08, 2013
917Grace HooverBear, DECampus Staff, InterVarsity Christian FellowshipNov 08, 2013
916Tom Poehneltworcester, madoctoral studentNov 08, 2013
915Kevin HuangAzusa, CAAssociate ProfessorNov 07, 2013
914Emily YangIrvine, CANov 07, 2013
913Clara ChanPasadena, CAInternational Staff, Epicentre ChurchNov 07, 2013
912Christy PreslerFargo, NDDesignerNov 06, 2013
911Min Hyeok (Thomas) LeeNew York, NYTeacher, Pyeong Ahn Presbyterian Church / Law StudentNov 06, 2013
910Amy RozzelleCru - Ethnic Field Ministry Director-Greater NorthwestNov 06, 2013
909K Kale YuNorwood, NJAssistant Professor of History Nov 05, 2013
908Kevin HendricksWest St. Paul, MNEditor, Church Marketing SucksNov 05, 2013
907Eric RaffertyOmaha, NEArea Director - InterVarsity Christian FellowshipNov 05, 2013
906Johann KimLakewood, COProfessor of New Testament, Colorado Christian UniversityNov 01, 2013
905Dave MartinPortland, OREducational SpecialistNov 01, 2013
904Aubrey DuckerWinter Park, FloridaChair, Christian Ethics TodayNov 01, 2013
903Kathryn PilgrimFredonia, New YorkInterVarsity Christian Fellowship staffNov 01, 2013
902Judy Ann ImperialGrove City, OhioChurch MemberNov 01, 2013

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Comments

  1. Briana Wong says:

    In case my signature doesn’t show up:
    Briana Wong
    Master of Divinity Candidate, Princeton Theological Seminary

  2. Angel Cheng says:

    The widget wasn’t working.
    Angel Cheng
    Master of Divinity Candidate, Fuller Theological Seminary

  3. Bob says:

    Before we all get our panties in a wad, maybe we should remember that there is no Jew or Greek, but we are all one in Christ. Try letting Christ come before race!

  4. Andrew Zhao says:

    Andrew Zhao
    youth pastor, St Paul Mosaic Church
    St Paul, MN

  5. Dan Son says:

    Dan Son
    Director to Students & Their Families
    Village Baptist Church
    Beaverton, OR

  6. Christopher Phiouthong says:

    Christopher Phiouthong
    Youth Director
    The Salvation Army Nashville Laotian Corps
    Nashville, TN USA

  7. Kee Won Huh says:

    Kee Won Huh
    Reverend, New Mercy Community Church
    Hackensack, NJ

  8. Lillian Kim says:

    The widget is not working; please add my name to the signing list.

    Lillian Kim
    Syracuse, NY
    Undergraduate Student, Syracuse University

  9. Abraham Han says:

    Abraham Han
    Associate Minister – First Baptist Church
    Vancouver, BC

  10. Ali says:

    This is precisely why I’m not a Christian.

  11. Daniel Louie says:

    Pastor
    Urban Village Church
    Vancouver, BC

  12. Glad to endorse – Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary

  13. Frank Kim says:

    The signature widget doesn’t seem to be working. A little concerned since I just communicated to everyone I could to please sign this fantastic letter.

  14. David Park says:

    Thanks for helping to get the word out, Frank. The widget is working, just not as robust as I’d hoped. However, you’re on the list and it just took a few minutes longer than expected. Thanks again!

  15. Kane Koo says:

    Woodbridge, NJ

  16. Albert Ng says:

    Albert Ng, D.Min
    Pastor, Island ECC, Hong Kong

  17. Rob McQueary says:

    You don’t have to be Asian-American to care about this issue. We all need to talk about this without disproportionately villainizing the offenders who have already asked forgiveness for their insensitivity.

  18. David Park says:

    Appreciate the comment, Rob. Just for clarification, what do you mean by “disproportionately villainizing the offenders who have already asked forgiveness for their insensitivity”? Not trying to pick a fight, but “villainizing” seems like a strong word considering the careful crafting of the letter in the hopes of reconciliation and greater awareness; and “disproportionately” seems a little biased too, seeing as how tens of thousands of people viewed, read, purchased any of the materials that have been the source of the criticism here. There is much forgiveness to be had, from my perspective, I just don’t think we’ve agreed as to what the offense really is.

  19. Helicon Kuan says:

    Helicon Kuan
    Pastor, CEFCSB
    Santa Barbara, CA

  20. Helicon Kuan says:

    the widget may not be working if ur on mobile version. I switched over to regular version from Mobile and it worked.

  21. Andrea Kaiser says:

    Thank you for raising awareness and building a bridge toward racial reconciliation in the church! Jesus says it is our unity that is our witness to the watching world, so let’s join and pray for maturity in this area. To my Asian-American sisters and brothers in the faith, I stand united with you in love. Until that day when our unity is perfected and we are indeed his pure, spotless Bride.

  22. Rob McQueary says:

    David, bro, totally was NOT referring to the tone and spirit of the letter. I agree with you 100%! The letter is a home-run and I completely share your view of the offense. My words that you highlighted were directed to those who may not get it and a reminder for all to share the tone and spirit articulated here!

  23. David Park says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Rob. Hope to see you soon~

  24. Janet Somes says:

    I wasn’t sure if a non-Asian could sign the letter, but I’m grateful that you have written it and fully support the call for change. I have needed and will continue to need to hear and act on corrective words from Asian brothers and sisters, and to seek the path towards understanding and equality whatever is spoken or left unsaid. Thank you for speaking truth. It’s a gift.

  25. Steve Watson says:

    Steve Watson
    Senior Pastor
    Greater Boston Vineyard

  26. David Park says:

    Thank you, Janet. And of course, you can sign the letter, we are grateful for your support and thank you for understanding.

  27. Renata Dennis says:

    Widget isn’t working. ..I am signing.

  28. Renata Dennis says:

    I agree

  29. Penny Hunter says:

    While I am not an Asian-American, I signed my name to this petition to demonstrate my solidarity and desire to support the voices of the undersigned. As “InterSection” stated his/her desire not to be impertinent by signing – my signature is not meant to signify that I understand completely, or have been faultless – but to signify that my longing is to bring about healing and understanding. I’m grateful for each of you who will help lead all of us to the Unity of the Body that is a deep reflection of the truth that we are all adopted into the Family of God.

    May I suggest a petition for people who are not from the Asian American Community who support this petition?

  30. Aaron Cho says:

    signing…

  31. Seth says:

    I cant get it to take my signature, would you please add me?

    Seth Wildschut, Reno Nevada America, Mission Pastor At Living Stones

  32. Emma Chao says:

    I am signing this in hopes that the Asian American community and the Evangelical Church will be able to reconcile any racial gaps or misunderstandings that the Church may have about the Asian American Community.

  33. David Lim says:

    Thanks for setting this up… I am glad I am not the only person who was offended by the events of late.

    Even though there have been sincere apologies, building awareness of the issue in general is a great way to bring conversation to the topic and bridge the gap.

  34. Brandy Liebscher says:

    Please add my signature. And thank you for this important letter.
    Brandy Liebscher, PsyD
    Associate Professor of Psychology
    Simpson University

  35. Helen Chung says:

    It did not seem like the widget was working. Please add my name to the letter. Thanks!

  36. Katie says:

    what a thoughtful and gracious letter.
    may all writers be blessed for words and actions rooted in great love.
    may healing come to those who have suffered from offenses and offenders.
    may all offenders seek forgiveness and turn away from ignorance.
    may white brothers and sisters not burden and exploit Asian and Asian-American brothers and sisters to teach them in the ways of anti-racist alliance.

  37. Steve Kato says:

    It’s sad that this still occurs especially within the church. Today, we see these things in our current stage of life, but this has been influencing our lives as Asian Americans for our lifetime and even before that. Sadly, this had turned many of our parents and other family members away from the Light. It has not stopped us though. This is proof of Spiritual warfare. I would hope for signatures not from just individuals, but whole churches.

  38. Sorry but I don't sympathise says:

    I find this a bit rich. Asian Christians deride a large part of their own traditional cultures; now they’re asking for respect from the very ideology that devalues their ancestral heritage. Sounds kinda like poetic justice.

  39. Joyce Pan Huang says:

    Please add me!
    Joyce Pan Huang
    InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
    Cleveland, OH

  40. Marci Wolff says:

    Please add my name. Marci Wolff-World Citizen ,Choteau, Montana.

  41. Rekha Thayil says:

    Rekha Thayil, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff member at University of Florida

  42. Kathy Moua says:

    InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

  43. Rev. James Brazell (HR) PCUSA says:

    For a Christian group to exploit such stereotypes demonstrates a tremendous lack of awareness of respect for others and reverence for the Gospel.

  44. Clyde Gee says:

    member of Uptown Baptist Church, Chicago, IL

  45. Frank Tan says:

    Frank Tan
    Atlanta, GA
    Children’s Minister

  46. Cindy Wu says:

    Cindy Wu
    Taipei, Taiwan

  47. Andrea Wagganer says:

    Please Add (in case it is not already added):
    Andrea Wagganer
    Saint Louis, MO
    Sociology Professor

  48. Dedy Tando says:

    Hi David, First of all kudos to you and your team for the courage and wisdom to bring up these issues front and center. I admire your articulateness and activism. I often wish I have that kind of energy. I am a first generation Indonesian-Chinese-American, a FOB and a Christian, and I relate to many of the issues that are mentioned. However, there are a few things that I feel the need to point out: First, the offenses that are mentioned mostly relate to East Asians, whereas South-, Southeast-Asian, and Middle Eastern bros and sis (Asian Americans no less) have a much larger set of issues than these. Second, I wholeheartedly endorse this letter as an Asian, but not as a Christian, because I do not think Jesus would have done it this way (think Jesus and the Samaritan woman, Peter’s vision of the “unclean” animals). Third, my experience leading a discipleship group within a mostly-white (95%) church in the heart of Texas has taught me that we ALL have something to learn from interacting and living with one another, not just dialoging. Racism and stereotypes often are symptoms of viewing one another as the “other” and not “us”. As believers, we should all strive towards true community, and not forming different pockets because of our different-ness. I share these views as one who has been a member of Chinese churches (deacon and youth leader), racially-mixed churches and (now) white church. Be blessed.

  49. Dr. Pradeep Goel says:

    Asians embracing Christianity ignore the bare facts of history about this religion. Christianity is all about imposing supremacy of European race over the rest of the world. As one Asian national leader once said decades ago, “the Flag (of Europe) followed the (Christian) Bible.” So, my brethren Asian folks, you are embracing a basically racist religion and that racism is not going to go away. Rick Warren is the prototype of such racism, certainly not the only one, although I am frankly surprised at his openly ventilating his inner thoughts, may be he is losing his balance due to the suicide of his son.

  50. David Park says:

    Thanks for your comment, Dedy. I wish I could take credit/blame (?) for what you point out here, but if I might say so, I don’t think you and I are all that far apart. Let me see, 1) your point that non-East Asian Americans have a much larger set of issues than these, I would agree, but they do not have less than these issues. It may just be a matter of reaching critical mass, which as we both know, is sure to come as global Christianity turns more South and East. 2) I’m not altogether clear on your contention that Jesus would not have corrected others in this way (Jesus and the Samaritan woman, Peter and unclean animals being your examples). The current context is American evangelical Christians shaming/offending Asian American brothers and sisters with their lack of cultural intelligence, potentially harming witness to non-Christian Asian Americans. Is there an exact analog in Scripture that you or I wouldn’t be stretching to make the case? Ironically, I think you feel that we are shaming fellow Christian brothers, which while I agree with you would be something that would cost us/them face, only seems to work with people who understand an honor/shame context like you or I would. Trust me, if evangelical American Christians knew what it meant to lose face, we wouldn’t be having this discussion at this level. Your third point seems to presume that I (I don’t really speak for all Asian Americans, but I suppose I already am taking some liberties here) don’t see the people that we are addressing as “us”, but here again, I think you’ve misplaced perspective. I see the various foibles of American evangelicals as shameful BECAUSE I do consider them “us”, but their persistent faux pas and insensitivities are offensive, not because they hurt my feelings or reveal they view “us” as “other”, but because WE all look bad when these indiscretions are put out on full public display with zero awareness about its potential to be a stumbling block. And such a letter is one public way of saying to a sibling in Christ, “hey, your cultural ignorance is showing again, can we please sit down and talk?” I don’t see this as forming a “pocket because of our different-ness”, the pockets already exist and they are perpetuated when these caricatures and microaggressions persist in the mainstreams of American evangelicalism. What we are trying to do is bridge those walls to let our friends know “this is not OK, it’s not funny, it’s not good parody, it’s not good art, it’s just ignorant.” That’s what good friends do, especially when there are differences. Good friends try to help each other be better for the gospel. Trust me, I don’t enjoy or profit from this. This is not real missional work, this is remedial work so that mission doesn’t get sabotaged by lack of cultural intelligence. Sorry for the long response, but I hope it helps you understand that this is not something we are simply reacting against, rather what I am hopeful for is more interactive engagement and community. We’re supposed to be on the same team, not wounding each other through friendly fire.

  51. Brian P. Anonymous says:

    As a closet non-theist living deep in Evangelical family and context, I would like to see my Asian American friends treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. A racist axis is one of several that would be good measure to eliminate. And furthermore in hopes not to distract, but in genuine desire to live in more generally gracious ways, there are other axes and boundaries to perceive as well. A cruciform life is one lived for the other. A deeply paradoxical question and questioning can be who are the profound followers in the way of Christ? Rather than metaphors of the “same team” and “friendly fire,” consider that Christ Himself may be found in the empathy toward the outsider. Who is one’s neighbor? I may no longer believe your tenets, but I do deeply ask you consider ways of graciousness toward the outsider.

  52. Andrew Wollitzer says:

    Andrew Wollitzer
    Senior Pastor of Berkeley Covenant Church

    (signed the petition, but it didn’t show up… so I thought I would sign here too.)

  53. Jacqueline Fulmer, Ph. D., Author and Academic says:

    As this open letter is written with great sensitivity to all parties, has raised items of central importance to how we live as the body of Christ, and as those close to my church family (Grace Fellowship Community Church, San Francisco) are signatories, I would ask to have my name added. Thank you for your efforts in strengthening our interrelationships as Family together. Jacqueline Fulmer (recent of Univ. of California, American Cultures.)

  54. Adrian Pei says:

    Sorry I’m late to this, I’ve been delayed by health issues and I also wanted to take some time to think about this. After thinking about what this means, I decided to sign this letter.

    I’m glad these topics are being discussed, and frankly it’s amazing to continue to see the power of Asian Americans mobilize for a common purpose. I’ll admit that I wrestled with simply signing my name on something that covers issues so important and complex, without more elaboration. But I’m signing it not because I agree with every word and way things are framed, but because I believe these are issues that need to be brought to attention, and I’m happy and proud to be part of a diverse community that despite our differences, is united in that conviction.

    It’s my hope that this effort is not just an outlet for individuals and organizations to make their voice known over the Internet (which is valuable in itself), but that it spurs and refocuses people on the importance of the long-term work needed to help people in diverse teams and communities to learn to work through these issues. To identify and understand the root of wrong and misguided attitudes and behaviors, and to help people address and work that out in an environment of truth and grace. I work with both Asian Americans and those who are not (many who also care deeply about these issues), and have found there’s so much work to do (and we are working on this concretely in our organization!), but it takes perseverance, and it always needs to be done in the context of relationships.

    The last thing I’ll say for those who don’t know the faces or people behind this letter, is that I personally know many of them. And I can attest to their character and deep love for true unity and reconciliation, that’s beyond mere words or tokenism.

    Adrian Pei, Epic Movement of Cru Global

  55. Vince Bantu says:

    Vince Bantu
    Newark, NJ

  56. Tracy E. Lee says:

    Please add my signature.
    Tracy E. Lee M.S. MFT

  57. Jenny Wang says:

    It’s not working for me. Please add me:
    Jenny Wang, D.O.
    Family Med Physician
    Chicago, IL.
    Thanks!

  58. Elizabeth Liu says:

    Elizabeth Liu
    InterVarsity Christian Fellowship alum
    Seattle, WA

  59. Peter Ahn says:

    Peter Ahn – (Lead Pastor)
    Metro Community Church
    Englewood, NJ

    Please add my signature!

  60. Stephen Bay says:

    Stephen Bay
    Missionary- Evangelical Covenant Church
    Japan

  61. Ryan Lee says:

    Ryan S. Lee, DDS, MPH, MHA
    Dental Oncologist, Assistant Professor, New York University
    Board Member, Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), Dental Advisory Council
    New York, NY

    Please add my signature!

  62. Jason Hoang says:

    Member, Tree of Life Lord’s Harvest Christian Church.

  63. Alan Lai, Ed.D. says:

    I am the minister at Toronto Chinese United Church. Please add my signature of support. Alan (Rev. Alan Lai, Ed.D.)

  64. Sylvia Leong says:

    Sylvia Leong
    San Jose, CA
    Asian American Christian Fellowship Alum
    Former Board Member, World Christian Fellowship

  65. Angela says:

    Angela Wu
    Youth worker
    Vancouver, British Columbia

  66. Kenny Nakai says:

    Widget is not working…

    Kenny Nakai
    Chicago IL
    Wedding Photographer – Small Group Leader – New Community Covenant Church

  67. Kenny Nakai says:

    The signature widget was not working for me on my mac OSX with Safari or Google Chrome Browsers. I just successfully used Firefox and the widget worked – so if you are using Safari or Chrome on your Apple computer- try Firefox!

  68. Joan Fong says:

    Please add me to the list.
    -Joan Fong
    Moderator, National Asian Presbyterian Women
    Fremont, CA

  69. Stacy says:

    Stacy Lee
    New York, NY
    Policy Advisor

  70. Young Lee says:

    Pastor

  71. Poet, Israel-Asia Center Advocate

  72. David Mark says:

    Regional Coordinator, Covenant World Mission, The Evangelical Covenant Church

  73. Steve Finucane says:

    The widget is not working; please add my name to the signing list.
    Steve Finucane
    Consultant
    Prescott, AZ

  74. Lucky Vang says:

    Please sign my name on the petition as well.
    Worship Leader – Downtown Mission Church
    Seminary Student – Criswell College

  75. KB Xiong says:

    …signed.

  76. Hom soukasene says:

    Thank you so much for speaking on behalf of many voices of Asian American leaders who might not know how to bring up the issues and express the desire to be accepted as equal with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a long way to go. As a servant leader working with multi-ethnic groups, I have experienced the issues mentioned. But we are all guilty in some level. I am grateful for my current church who has the desire to create unity and not division in these areas.

  77. Andrew Fong says:

    I am not signing this letter. I know too well how easy it is when telling a joke to offend someone. When I was in about 3rd grade I told this kid what I thought was a funny Polish joke that someone else had told me. Then I saw him tear up and cry. I had forgotten that his ancestry was Polish. Since then I have tried to be more forgiving for others’ lapses in judgement. If your brother has offended you, it is best to handle the matter with private communication. It’s just my opinion that circulating a mass letter like this does not edify the entire body of Christ.

    Andrew Fong

  78. Thank you for raising your voices! Your letter was one of many voices that inspired me to raise my own voice. My open letter is a bit more specific, but it relates to the Evangelical Church as well!

    FOR CHRIST AND HIS WHITE KINGDOM: AN OPEN LETTER TO WHEATON COLLEGE ON WHITE SUPREMACY

    http://thetatteredrose.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/for-christ-and-his-white-kingdom-an-open-letter-to-the-wheaton-college-community-on-white-supremacy-on-campus/

  79. Cooper Brimm says:

    Good day!

    I was looking through your website http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/ and found all the information you compiled quite extraordinary. I’ve been looking to get as much information as possible and your page helped me immensely.

    Since your site helped me so much, I wanted to provide you with another link that would help your future visitors too. Our article link is:

    http://www.us-immigration.com/asian-american-history-timeline/

    Its very interesting and informative so I figured I’d pass it along to you! Let me know if you decide to use it.

    Thanks,
    Cooper Brimm
    American Immigration Center.

  80. Diane Ujiiye says:

    Second attempt at signing on. Please add my name: Diane Michiko Ujiiye.
    How we treat each other matters. If we (the family of believers), make mistakes along the way, we make corrections accordingly. Sadly, this “mistake” keeps happening. Always grateful that God provides us with sensitivity, awareness, a back-bone, grace, unity, trust, and….love.

  81. Bishop Dominic Luong says:

    As the first Vietnamese Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States of America, and a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Catholics, I want to add my affirmation this letter addressing the superficiality of the characterization of Asian Americans and the frequent stereotyping. I also want to express on behalf of our Asian American community in general, but specifically the Vietnamese American community, my appreciation for the sensitivity demonstrated in this open letter. I pray that this conversation will have a broad impact and will strengthen our solidarity with one another.

Trackbacks

  1. […] am not Asian-American.  So when I read the Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church I did not immediately rush to sign the letter.  It seemed to me impertinent to do so, not to […]

  2. […] there was an important document drafted called An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church. Two of my good friends (one since childhood and the other pastors in the denomination I am proud […]

  3. […] You can read the letter here [PDF] and sign-in if you choose [here]. […]

  4. […] right. I’d really like to see this open letter go […]

  5. […] Loving our neighbors means that we make our neighbors’ issues our concern. If my neighbor is offended, then as a Christian I should come along side my brother and sister and not take those offenses lightly. After all, we are called to, “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another (Rom. 12:15-16a).” If my brother or sister is offended or grieved, then I should also be in mourning. I should pay attention. I should speak life. I should pray. I should comfort. I should name correctly. I should stand with them and say, “No more.” We can start by listening and reading, “An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church: On Cultural Insensitivity and Reconciliation in the Church.” If you agree with the contents of the letter, you too can sign the petition here. […]

  6. […] 10. Are we sensitive about how we speak about and how treat our Asian brothers and sisters? We need to be. Read An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church. […]

  7. […] youth skits, general Christian trade books, at conferences, and by well-known Christian leaders. See Open Letter here. The letter was sparked by what was perceived to be an insensitive response by Rick Warren to […]

  8. […] have imagined and hoped for such a different future for the church, one in which racial harmony would not be an illusion, but a tangible […]

  9. […] That was too much for many Asian-American Christians. Hence, the letter. […]

  10. […] That was too much for many Asian-American Christians. Hence, the letter. […]

  11. […] That was too much for many Asian-American Christians. Hence, the letter. […]

  12. […] Asian. Just as other recent headlines have shown us, our children are growing up in a world where mega-church pastors shrug off complaints about his casual remarks praising the Red Guard and viral videos aimed at tweens portray a mashup of stereotypes about Chinese […]

  13. […] that they say have hurt their community. Two Covenanters, Kathy Khang and Helen Lee, drafted the letter and sought the […]

  14. […] That was too much for many Asian-American Christians. Hence, the letter. […]

  15. […] That was too much for many Asian-American Christians. Hence, the letter. […]

  16. […] In case you missed it and have time: check out the NPR piece “Asian Americans to Evangelical Church: We are Not Your Punchline“. The open letter that is referred to in the article can be seen here. […]

  17. […] he’s planting a Saddleback Church in Hong Kong. The Asian-American evangelical community has composed a letter for the evangelical church asking for cultural awareness and racial harmony. Here’s a […]

  18. […] he’s planting a Saddleback Church in Hong Kong. The Asian-American evangelical community has composed a letter for the evangelical church asking for cultural awareness and racial harmony. Here’s a […]

  19. […] attorneys, editors, accountants, counselors, moms, dads, and friends and raise your voice and sign this open letter to the church, to commit yourself to racial reconciliation, understanding, and forming a more credible witness to […]

  20. […] reported to have used both women and gay people as punchlines to jokes told from the stage. And, in An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church, a group of influential Asian American Christians pointed out a bunch of instances of racial […]

  21. […] has been one week since the Asian American Open Letter to the Evangelical Church was released on Nextgenerasianchurch.com.  I am one of the original signatories and part of the […]

  22. […] That was too much for many Asian-American Christians. Hence, the letter. […]

  23. […] couple weeks ago, one of my colleagues asked me to sign An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church.  Since then, I’ve learned that a skit parodying the Karate Kid at a major Christian conference […]

  24. […] paving the way for a new, reconciled future. And I’ve found promising stuff like this letter getting press on NPR’s Code […]

  25. […] been a little over a week since this open letter went out. Before I keep going, let me put this out there: it is not the perfect letter, and it […]

  26. […] been one to raise my voice when confronted by racial and cultural insensitivity did so through the open letter to the evangelical church that was recently released by a group of Asian American Christians. As part of the organizing […]

  27. […] October 13, Asian Americans United published an open letter asking the church to reevaluate its behavior toward its Asian brothers and sisters. The letter […]

  28. […] was in the middle of a conversation on Twitter, about this Christianity Today piece, responding to this open letter from the Asian American community to the evangelical church. The CT piece suggested that white […]

  29. […] is the latest twist in a series of recent events that have left many Asian-American Christians with questions about how they’re perceived by fellow […]

  30. […] BEACH, CA (November 8, 2013) – Helen Lee, one of the two Covenanters who authored the “Open Letter to the Evangelical Church” that decried the use of Asian American stereotypes said she was “surprised but also thrilled” […]

  31. […] the latest twist in a series of recent events that have left many Asian-American Christians with questions about how they’re perceived by fellow […]

  32. […] weeks, there has been some important discussion about Asian-Americans and evangelicals, including a statement I recently pointed to in my Morning Roundup. I think it is an important conversation and one I want […]

  33. […] women I deeply respect, Helen Lee and Kathy Khang, wrote the “Open Letter to the Evangelical Church” and a group of 80 Asian American leaders issued a call for dialogue and building bridges after […]

  34. […] We’ll be posting in bursts at the end of the month—starting next week, on Tuesday, January 28, with several Asian American Christian responses examining the scope of opinions about the Open Letter to the Evangelical Church. […]

  35. […] has been no public conversation about the Open Letter among Asian American […]

  36. […] I’m one of the original endorsers of the Open Letter. […]

  37. […] first impression was that the Open Letter was too […]

  38. […] the Open Letter was posted, hundreds read and signed it. Thousands more read but chose silence. Perhaps you can […]

  39. […] While there have been secular and Christian press; blog opinions; and private conversations in dining rooms, in church fellowship halls, and on Facebook, to our knowledge, there has been no public discussion among Asian American Christians about October’s Open Letter to the Evangelical Church. […]

  40. […] I find most fascinating about the Open Letter campaign is that public protest brought together Asian Americans from a variety of theological […]

  41. […] Asian American Open Letter to the Evangelical Church was a key moment in the unraveling of the private consensus in American evangelicalism in 2013. Let […]

  42. […] Open Letter represents the frustration of the various affected groups. A sensitive topic has entered the public […]

  43. […] pain it feels, I am excited for the healing that can come about now. When I signed my name on the open letter to the church, I hoped that someone would listen. We are hurting, and it needs to be addressed in […]

  44. […] Americans Christians United released an open letter to the evangelical church. It calls for specific actions to work towards actual racial […]

  45. […] Warren to a conversation due to his Asian American faux pas last September 2013. Since that time, an open letter to the evangelical church has been issued, in large part inspired by the first Korean American woman to be ordained to the […]

  46. […] in the area of cultural intelligence and sensitivity, particularly in its relationships with its Asian American brothers and sisters. In the wake of this initiative, I wrote a number of blog posts explaining the reasons behind my […]

  47. […] by apologizing immediately and sincerely. This prompted Asian American Christian leaders to write “An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church” of which I was an early signatory. And today, we are campaigning to free Matt & Grace Huang, […]

  48. […] Faith” (InterVarsity Press), got recent media exposure for co-authoring (with Helen Lee) An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church on Cultural Insensitivity and Reconciliation in the Church from Asian American Christians United. Kathy shared the back story at The Open Letter, How We Got […]

  49. […] a concrete way to frame our larger analysis, we will broaden the conversation that began with the Asian American Christians United Open Letter to the Evangelical Church in good […]

  50. […] foundation for new bonds between himself and the people of color around him. As people of color, we will continue speaking our realities to the church and culture. However, those with privilege must realize that reconciliation with all of our neighbors, […]

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