Bishop Roy Sano was incarcerated with other Japanese Americans during World War II, led the fight for a distinct Asian American voice in the United Methodist Church, and directed the groundbreaking work of PACTS, the Pacific and Asian American Center for Theologies and Strategies.

This week, Bishop Sano joins Tim and Jane to share his lived insights on Asian American Christian history.

Originally published

March 5, 2021

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Jane Hong

Associate professor of US history. Author of Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion (UNC Press, 2019). NJ Transplant to Los Angeles. Currently writing a history of how post-1965 Asian immigration changed US evangelicalism (Oxford Univ Press). Tweets @janehongphd.

Tim Tseng

Tim Tseng

Fuller Asian American Center Affiliate and Pacific Area Director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries. Tim’s forthcoming book, tentatively titled Asian American Christianity and the Quest for a Better Country, will be the first comprehensive history of Asian American Christianity.


Roy I. Sano

Bishop Sano spent part of his childhood in the Poston War Relocation Center. Elected bishop in the UMC in 1984, he has been a minister, chaplain, professor, and directed the Pacific and Asian American Center for Theology and Strategies in Berkeley. He also served as professor of theology at the Pacific School of Religion and on various UMC General Boards. Bishop Sano served as executive secretary of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church from 2004 to 2008