"A recent open letter to the Christian evangelical church, signed by a wide array of Asian-American scholars and Christian practitioners, complained of numerous racially offensive incidents in evangelical circles. In yet another sign of callousness, Asian-Americans were initially told, in effect, to ‘get over it.’ Instead, it is U.S. white Christians who must ‘get over’ their whiteness and their failure to see the already changed face of Christian faith.
By 2040 the racial demographics of this country will no longer be predominantly white. If any church group, including U.S. evangelicals, wishes to stay apace with this momentous change, and welcome nonwhite members, its leaders and members must listen to the experiences of these new groups.
White evangelicals must stop clinging to an alibi of color-blindness. Growth within 'their' churches depends on nonwhite members. Among Asian-Americans, the fastest-growing immigrant group in the U.S., 42 percent self-identify as Christian, 15 to 20 percent as ‘evangelicals’ or ‘born again.’ They attend religious services more often than white evangelical counterparts.
If U.S. evangelical Protestant churches – now 81 percent white, according to 2012 Pew research – hope to become a more diverse representation of all the people of God, they must respond more positively to constructive criticism like that in the recent open letter.
But persistent use of derogatory racial stereotypes by many white evangelical churches continues to surface in a variety of ways, among leaders, at religious events, in church practices and, painfully often, in church curricula.
It is the conceit of religious white racism to presume that one’s evangelicalism transcends racial and cultural identities, making such ‘worldly’ labels no longer important. The letter reminds church leaders that those identities still matter. White evangelical Christians must stop clinging to an alibi of color-blindness and recognize that vibrant growth within ‘their’ churches has much to do with nonwhite members’ views of them."