Tuesday, Jun 2, 2020

Asian Americans Call on the Church to Preach Against Coronavirus Racism

Hundreds of Christian leaders sign a landmark statement denouncing spike in xenophobia.

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Inspired by their convictions around human dignity and their hope in the body of Christ, Asian American believers are asking the church to take the lead in opposing anti-Asian racism fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Asian American Christian Collaborative released a statement describing the current rise in anti-Asian incidents—by some counts, more than 750 reports just last week—as the latest in the long history of “yellow peril” tropes in the US.

The statement denounces xenophobia, stands in solidarity with victims, and directs Christians to speak out and make changes in their churches, schools, and communities.

Our hope would be that people would address this from the pulpit,” said Ray Chang, who collaborated on the statement with church planter and writer Michelle Reyes. “There is no Good News without the bad news.”

The statement evokes the Christian commitment to neighborly love, calling for signatories to “engage in whole-life discipleship in your churches, and embrace the teaching and work of Jesus, by actively combating anti-Asian racism from the pulpit, in congregational life, and in the world.”

Hundreds have signed on, from prominent Asian American Christian leaders like North Park Theological Seminary professor Soong-Chan Rah and Evangelicals for Social Action director Nikki Toyama-Szeto to the heads of major evangelical entities like Fuller Seminary president Mark Labberton and World Relief president Scott Arbeiter.

Asian American Christians have been vocal about racist remarks, characterizations, and violence since the earliest days of the outbreak.

“‘America first’ or ‘my own race first’ is not living out the Parable …

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