Know Your City: Flushing Queens
This is the second in our Know Your City series, where we look at specific neighborhoods across New York City and what poverty and injustice and brokenness looks like there. This post corresponds with our monthly devotional, focused on Flushing, Queens and written by a pastor in the neighborhood. You can read that here: Lacking, Yearning, and Seeking in Flushing.
The following statistics are for Community District 7, which is comprised of Flushing and Whitestone (including Auburndale, Bay Terrace, College Point, East Flushing, Flushing, Queensboro Hill and Whitestone).
Total population: 255,707
Demographics: 52% Asian, 28% White, 17% Hispanic, 2% Black, 2% Other
Foreign born: 57%
Queens is often referred to as the borough of immigrants. The 7 train, which begins in Flushing and goes through Queens on its way to Manhattan, is referred to as the International Express for the diversity of its riders. Not only is Queens the most ethnically diverse of the five boroughs, but it is actually one of the most diverse places in the world—including being the world capital of linguistic diversity.
Flushing, specifically, has one of the highest rates of foreign-born residents in all of New York City. Nearly six in 10 Flushing residents were born outside of the United States—much higher than the citywide rate of 35 percent. With that comes the second highest rate of limited English proficiency (at 49 percent of Flushing residents) citywide.
The majority of Flushing’s immigrants come from Asia, and more than 30,000 residents of the neighborhood were born in China, making it one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. Increasing numbers of seniors living in New York City (especially in Flushing) are from China, and 27 percent of seniors from China in the city live in poverty.
How can you pray?
Pray for economic reconciliation as gentrification continues to sculpt and shift our community. Many lower income households have been forced either out or into more crowded living spaces. Intercede for the Church here to be a compelling counter cultural picture of the equality of the Kingdom of God, where the rich are humbled and the poor are lifted.
Pray for protection of human rights for immigrants living here. Pray for the great burden to make a living that many immigrants face, for the complex issue of “satellite babies,” and for the unique trials and influences that immigrant families face.
Pray for liberation and restoration in the rampant undercurrent of sex trafficked victims in Flushing, and that those responsible would be brought to justice.
Pray for the Church in Flushing, which has often been plagued with issues that distract us from looking outward. Pray for strong and faithful leaders to remain true to God and His Word. Pray also for the issue of a strong presence of cults that exist here, many of which prey upon the weak or vulnerable, and at times, attempt to infiltrate churches and disrupt the congregation.
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Corrie Mitchell is the Marketing and Content Specialist at Hope for New York. She lives in the South Bronx where she is a member at Restoration Community Church.