A group of Asian-American Christians has called upon the church to do more in the fight against anti-Asian racism sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, The Asian American Christian Collaborative said that anti-Asian incidents had skyrocketed ever since COVID-19 – which originated in Wuhan, China – began to spread across the globe. Shockingly, more than 750 racist incidents were reported last week alone.
Now, the organization is challenging the church to speak out about the disturbing phenomenon. “We, the undersigned, join together as Asian American Christians and community leaders to denounce the current rise in overt anti-Asian racism throughout our country,” the statement read. “We call for an immediate end to the xenophobic rhetoric, hate crimes, and violence against our people and communities. We invite all Americans to join us in combating these contagions and work with us for the welfare of all.”
Addressing the issue from a biblical perspective, the group encouraged believers to lead the way in showing love to people of every community. “Loving God by loving neighbor is a hallmark of the Christian faith,” they wrote. “As followers of Jesus believe that all people are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), we seek the flourishing of every human being, paying particular attention to those who are marginalized, oppressed, and suffering (Ex. 22:22; Is. 1:17; Ps. 82:3; Zech. 7:9-10).”
The statement added: “This includes those who are experiencing racism. Thus, we urge you to speak without ambiguity against racism of every kind. Faithful Christian witness requires anti-racist work, and silence only perpetuates the sins not addressed.”
According to Christianity Today, Russell Jeung, the chair of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University, has tracked a staggering 50-percent rise in coverage of anti-Asian racism as the coronavirus pandemic began to grow exponentially between early February and early March.
“I pray that Asian Americans don’t allow the hate and stigmatization to steep into their hearts,” Jeung told CT. “Instead, may they recognize that their ethnic and racial backgrounds are God’s gift to them and the broader church.”
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Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.