The programming of the CAAC brings scholars and practitioners who engage explicitly with issues pertaining to race. Since the pandemic, anti-Asian hate has become a social issue of high visibility. This has stimulated public discourse about the place of Asian Americans in the racial body politic. Asian American churches and Christians are not immune to these contemporary issues, and engaging these issues theologically and biblically requires a nuanced grasp of the history, sociology, and politics of Asian American life. The CAAC seeks to advance the conversation about Asian American church life that goes beyond the current racial, political, and theological binaries that are assumed in discourses about Christianity in the US.
The history of Asian America and its religions and communities of worship cannot be told without understanding the process of racialization. The history of racialization includes the exclusion of Asian migrants in the nineteenth century to the substantial repeal of the exclusion in 1965. While there was a budding Asian American ecclesial presence prior to 1965, Asian American church life grew exponentially after 1965. It is difficult to overestimate the ongoing pressures exerted by racialization on Asian American families, communities, and churches—divorce, domestic violence, mental health issues, vocational decisions (or the lack there of), and perennial conflicts between first generation and second+ generation Asian American ministries indicate the pervasive pressure of racialization.