Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Ethnic, tribal, and racial identities are a challenge not only to society in general but to the christian church in particular. as bearers of cultural differences, ethnic and racial differences are often seen as a difficulty to overcome rather than a gift from God to be treasured. Barreto (2011) puts it this way: Ethnic and racial differences are not the problem. Prejudice and racism inject our differences with the sinful notion that our difference leads to superiority and inferiority or the distorted belief that our differences are merely cultural cues for determining who is in and who is out, rather than emblems of God’s gift of diversity. (p. 129) Ethnic, tribal, and racial differences have been successfully used either to build up or tear down communities and neighborhoods. the purpose of this paper is to explore issues related to ethnicity, tribalism, and racism and the consequent challenge they pose to the christian church in general. Because mission always involves the crossing of ethnic and cultural boundaries, it is important that the issues related to ethnicity, tribalism, and racism be addressed and put into the biblical perspective.

Journal Title

Journal of Applied Christian Leadership





First Department

World Mission