As followers of Jesus we are deeply troubled by the murderous attacks in Atlanta. Why on earth would a professing Christian walk into three spas and massacre eight people, six of whom were Asian women? We grieve the loss of each of these persons made in God’s image. We join with our Asian American brothers and sisters to renounce the violence in Atlanta and the surging violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic, including vicious attacks against the elderly. Over the last year research from The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino indicates that in 2020 hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased 150% in the sixteen largest U.S. cities. As these hateful incidents continue to increase, so does legitimate anger, fear, and outrage of those who have been, and continue to be, targeted.

Our Christian faith is shaped by the future reality of God’s kingdom, made up of every race, tribe, nation and tongue, in equal standing before God and in unity with one another. We must listen and take the time to understand the deep and painful history of discrimination faced by Asian Americans, and to stand in solidarity for a more inclusive and equitable future for all. We call on all Christians committed to the gospel of reconciliation to witness to the faith by condemning the hate and racism that motivates violence against our Asian-American brothers and sisters. The Asian American Christian Collaborative has issued the statement below, which we urge our fellow Christians to sign and share with others in their communities.

As we contemplate a new normal after COVID, we pray that the new normal would include Christians united against hate and racism.

Frank A. James III, DPhil, PhD
President and Professor of Historical Theology
Missio Seminary