The L2 Foundation blog posted today about the alarming percentage of ABCs that attend church, less than 2% according to the recent Render Conference near Houston. [link:”Alarming Statistics About American Born Chinese“]
Less than 2% doesn’t surprise me as if any number would be comforting or satisfactory. If I have my numbers correct, there are roughly 3.5million Chinese in America and out of that number we have somewhere around 1.1million ABCs. So you do the math. 2% of 1.1million. You’d probably find many of these church going ABCs on the coasts.
The Chinese have been in America a long time (since the 1840s). So you have Chinese churches in practically every state. A Chinese church over 50 years old would typically have lots of ABCs in it and probably close to half of those churches would be found in California. However the fact of the matter is that these churches have been losing generation after generation of ABCs. Since the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 those statistics would dwindle further since there would be a growing number of first generation immigrant churches/congregations under 20 years old. These congregations will have ABC children and eventually English speaking ministries. The ABC population will only continue to grow (approx. 30-40k a year). The need to reach them will also grow.
It’s easy to be complacent with who comes to our services. We need to ask how many “new” Christians or seekers actually come? Why don’t they? I believe most of the growth in our English Speaking Ministries is not new growth by conversion but from transplanted Christians. We have young mostly single ABC Christians coming and going. It’s a cultural phenomenon. The hard truth is that there are many Chinese or ABCs outside of our walls (over 95%). There’s so much work to be done.