The Biblical Basis for Multiethnic Churches and Ministry

in Research

North America is populated by a wondrous variety of people, nearly all of whom are immigrants. And in recent decades more and diverse kinds of immigrants have arrived on our shores. The notion that America is a melting pot for all the world‘s ethnic groups has been revealed to be a myth. A better analogy is to see our nation as a giant salad bowl or stew pot in which each cultural component retains its own integrity and identity, yet contributes to the overall national flavor.

Immigration and rising birth rates have brought tremendous change to American society. America‘s total ethnic population now numbers over 110 million.1 The nation‘s streets teem with over 500 ethnic groups speaking more than 630 languages and dialects.2 Multiculturalism in America is now an established fact.3 Over the next fifty years, the white population is projected to decrease by 30 percent, while other ethnic groups will increase 92 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2042 ethnic ―people of color‖ will collectively be in a majority in our land. With no one ethnic group in a majority, whites will be the largest minority in a nation of minorities. By mid-century our minority population–everyone except for non-Hispanic, single-race whites–is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million. By 2050, the Hispanic population is projected to nearly triple to 132.8 million (from 15% to 30% of our population). Our black population will have increased to 65.7 million (from 14% to 15% of our people); Asian-American population to 40.6 million (from 5.1% to 9.2%); Native Americans and Alaska Natives to 8.6 million (from 1.6% to 2%); and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders more than doubled to 2.6 million. By 2050, the number of people who identify themselves as being of two or more ―races‖ is projected to more than triple, from 5.2 million to 16.2 million.4 According to some projections, 21% of Americans will be claiming mixed ancestry by midcentury.5 Truly, we are a nation that is ―browning.‖6