Raymond Chang serves as a campus minister at Wheaton College. He also co-founded and serves as president of the Asian American Christian Collaborative. Prior to these roles, Chang was on the pastoral staff at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Illinois. He has also been a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama, a youth pastor in L.A., and a director of two nonprofits. Chang regularly preaches and speaks throughout the country on Christianity and culture, race and faith. He earned his M.Div. from Trinity International University and is currently working on his Ph.D. from Azusa Pacific University.
Over the past year, nearly 3,800 incidents of name-calling, shunning and assault against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate. How should we as Christians understand this dramatic increase of violence against Asian Americans? How did we get here? In Today’s Conversation podcast, Raymond Chang traces anti-Asian sentiment and actions through U.S. history, and offers a mini-cultural sensitivity training to listeners.
In this podcast hosted by NAE President Walter Kim, you’ll also gain understanding on:
- How the model minority myth and perpetual foreigner syndrome affect Asian Americans today;
- What unique contributions Asian Americans offer the Church;
- How to love and care for Asian American friends and neighbors; and
- A word of encouragement for those who are weary from the heaviness of racial injustice and other societal and personal tragedies.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: Part of sensitivity training, of course, is awareness of this history of the model minority and perpetual foreigner myths, but you’ve also alluded to something way beyond cultural sensitivity training. You’ve alluded to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; you’ve alluded to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform. In your role at Wheaton in areas of discipleship as campus minister, what is a Christian response in terms of a deeper discipleship in this area?
Raymond: Because we are working in a world where sin loves to wreak havoc — it loves to establish patterns that harm people and divide people including Christians — and where race and racism have been significant forces in our formation is why so much of the church in the United States is divided especially along racial lines.
You see that in the ways that we vote — which everyone has the right to vote their conscience — but it’s interesting our votes are often tied with our race more than our faith and that we use apologetics to defend a particular partisan position instead of actually seeing that both parties are completely flawed in the country as well as the ways that no party actually represents Jesus and his kingdom fully.
One of the things that I am finding over and over, including at my work at Wheaton, is that many of the students come in seeking to be a part of a kingdom community that’s very diverse and that celebrates all the contributions that God has instilled within each people group with each community, and yet find it very difficult that some groups are more exclusionary than other groups and maintain harmful stereotypes because they often come from homogenous churches and homogenous upbringings.
I do think that we need to have a race-conscious and gender-conscious discipleship so that we don’t perpetuate the harms that we are seeing throughout society.
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- Uncover the history behind the first two pieces of federal legislation — the Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — that prevented Chinese immigrants from coming to America. As a point of clarification from the podcast, The Page Act came prior to The Chinese Exclusion Act even though the Exclusion Act of 1882 is often regarded as the first law restricting immigration to the United States.
- Connect with the Asian American Christian Collaborative, and check out their list of recommended resources for continued learning.
- Learn more about incidences of hate against Asian Americans at Stop AAPI Hate.
- Read NAE’s statement on anti-Asian violence.
- Discover NAE resources on racial justice.
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by OneShare Health.