Janelle Wong is an Associate Professor of American Studies and the Director of Asian American Studies at University of Maryland in College Park, MD. Her research focuses on race, immigration, and political mobilization. Dr. Wong is the author of Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions (2006, University of Michigan Press) and co-author of two books on Asian American politics. She is currently working on a book about the impact Asian American and Latino evangelical Christians will have on the traditional conservative Christian movement and immigrant political participation. Recently, PRRI had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Wong in depth about some of the 2014 American Values Survey’s findings on Asian Americans.
The Biblical book of Isaiah has been in the news, thanks to a verse that’s leading some evangelical Christians to believe that the escalating violence in Syria is a sign of the end times. Syria and its cities are mentioned in the Bible several times, most notably the city of Damascus, where the apostle Paul converted to Christianity. Isaiah 17:1 reads, “Damascus will no longer be a city, but will become a heap of ruins.” Although many biblical scholars would argue the verse is from “an ancient poem about an ancient context,” others believe it speaks to God’s ultimate plan for humanity. Christian bookstores have reported an increase in “book sales of prophecy-themed works,” during the growing escalation of conflicts in the Middle East. Three-quarters (76%) of white evangelical Protestant Americans believe God is in control of everything that happens in the world. Roughly 3-in-10 (29 percent) white evangelical Protestants believe that the end of the world, as predicted in the book of Revelation, will happen in their lifetime.
However, few evangelical leaders support military intervention, at least according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals. A poll conducted by the NAE found more than 6-in-10 evangelical leaders are opposed to U.S. intervention in the conflict, while more than one-third of NAE leaders said they support congressional authorization. A CNN poll shows evangelical leaders share views similar to the general public, with almost 6-in-10 (59 percent) Americans saying Congress should not pass the resolution for U.S. military action in Syria.