Fuller Theological Seminary is thankful to God, during this Eastertide, for our siblings blessed with heritage from the continent of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Their stories are rich and varied, like their vibrant and diverse cultures. Their journeys include persistence in the face of persecution and pain. Their contributions are innumerable and enriching to the United States and the world generally. We particularly honor the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Christians in the global witness to the risen Christ.
The first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States in May 1843. Ninety-nine years later, the United States incarcerated more than 100,000 Japanese Americans because of racist ideology that assumed they were potential enemies and a public danger during World War II. Chinese immigrants are largely responsible for the first transcontinental railroad, completed in May 1869, that connected the East Coast to the West Coast and contributed to the economic development of the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The brutal working conditions and unjust pay of the Chinese laborers are additional examples of racist exploitation. Historic examples of injustice—unfairness—continue to unfold in implicit and explicit ways for which we should repent and seek repair.
We are enriched by the vibrant variety of our students, staff, scholars, and stakeholders of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. Our family is fuller because of their witness, wisdom, and work. For this month of celebration, we rejoice.
David Emmanuel Goatley
President, Fuller Seminary
Clifford L. Penner Presidential Chair
Professor of Theology and Ministry