Almost every major world religion finds significant representation in Asia. Not only is Asia the birthplace of Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, Shinto, Sikhism, Confucianism and Jainism, the continent is also home to the largest Muslim population in the world, as well as significant numbers of Christians and Jews. Additionally, Asian immigrants have brought their religious traditions with them wherever they have settled, making many of these religions truly global in scope and practice. Despite their rich histories, Asian religions are dynamic, often responding to the changing needs of their followers, in Asia and abroad.
Today there are more than one thousand Chinese churches in the United States, most of them Protestant evangelical congregations, bringing together diasporic Chinese from diverse origins--Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Southeast Asian countries. Despite the many tensions and conflicts that exist within these congregations, most individuals find ways to creatively integrate their evangelical Christian beliefs with traditional Chinese (mostly Confucian) values. The church becomes a place where they can selectively assimilate into American society while simultaneously preserving Chinese values and culture.
Religion, spirituality, and faith have always been important to Asian American communities, as they were for many generations before them. But within the diversity of the Asian American community, diversity exists in religious beliefs and practices. In Asia, these various forms of spirituality and faith help Asian Americans to deal with the upheavals of immigration, adapting to a new country, and other difficult personal and social transformations by providing a safe and comfortable environment in which immigrants can socialize, share information, and assist each other.
History shows that numerous churches and religious organizations played very important roles in helping immigrants from China, Japan, the Philippines, South Asia, and Korea adjust to life in the U.