PANA's Civil Liberty and Faith Project

The goal of our Civil Liberty and Faith project is to amplify the voices and perspectives of progressive Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) religious leaders engaged in the work of increasing civil liberty for all, and in bringing about greater inter-ethnic and interreligious understanding.

These API voices receive very little attention in the mainstream media and are underrepresented in America’s public and religious discourse; however, their unique experience and knowledge offers a critical voice on the issue of civil liberty, which we define as the state of both individual freedom and communal well-being embodied in social equality, economic justice, and religious freedom.


We offer academic courses at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Designed to genuinely engage the students with the larger community, our courses physically move the location of the classroom down off our "Holy Hill" at the Graduate Theological Union and out into local Bay Area API congregations and other meaningful settings. We invite members of the larger API community to join the seminarians as co-learners and co-teachers, so that the class becomes a vibrant mixed learning community that crosses lines of class, profession, ethnicity, religion, and generation.

Throughout the year we hold public events — community conversations, public lectures, vigils, worship services, film screenings — that engage the complex voices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on key topics of civil liberty and faith.

We foster API liturgical innovation, both at the altar and on the streets, that gives expression to the depth of spiritual meaning and politcal inspiration in API communities engaged in public witness and struggle for civil liberty.

We nurture networks of progressive API witness, theological reflection, and leadership. We are proud to have been instrumental in the founding of the Network on Religion and Justice for API LGBTs ( and to play a part in the USA-Philippines Ecumenical Advocacy Network (USAPAN). On October 20-21, 2007 we held our first API Faith & Justice Gathering, entitled "Capturing the Moment & Renewing the Movement of the Heart."

To Learn More

We invite you to join our email list to receive more news of upcoming events, and to explore the links below to learn more about the many facets of PANA's Civil Liberty and Faith project:

Current news and reflections on our activities can also be found on the PANA blog.

PANA's Civil Liberty and Faith project is coordinated by PANA's Program Director, Rev. Deborah Lee, 510-849-8260,, and funded by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.