March 17, 2021
In the devastating wake of the Atlanta-area spa shootings that occurred yesterday evening, World Relief adamantly decries the violence committed against the eight victims who were killed, six of whom were Asian and all but one of whom were women. While some details relating to the current case are still emerging, these attacks occur amidst a clear trend of increased racially-motivated violence toward Asian Americans.
“World Relief is heartbroken by the recent increase in crimes against Asian-Americans and urges our community to join us in prayer for victims and their loved ones,” says Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief. “World Relief entirely condemns violence and the racist rhetoric that can fuel such attacks.”.
World Relief is proud to follow the lead of Asian-American Christian leaders by affirming their Statement on Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of COVID-19, released last March, which states that while all Americans are living in fear of contracting COVID-19, Asian Americans in particular face the added fear of discrimination and violence on a daily basis. The FBI warned that hate crimes against Asian Americans would likely increase across the U.S., and as an organization committed to serving the needs of our world’s most vulnerable and marginalized, World Relief laments that racist rhetoric in response to the pandemic could manifest itself in increased incidences of violence toward Asian Americans.
“Hate and violence towards Asians must stop. It’s absolutely sickening to see the rash of hate crimes increase exponentially against Asians in the U.S. Asians are not a virus. This is our home,” says Jenny Yang, World Relief Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. “All of us must collectively do more to fight against the scourge of hatred manifested both through our words and actions against not just Asians but other people of color as well. I call on the broader church to denounce such acts of violence and stand in solidarity with those of us in the Asian community.”
“Among the refugees we have welcomed to the U.S. in the past decade, many have been individuals who were originally from Burma in Southeast Asia,” observes Tim Breene, CEO of World Relief. “While they are generally very grateful to be free from persecution that is often targeted at them for their ethnic and religious minority status in Burma, it is unconscionable that they and other Asian-Americans should face threats on account of their race in the U.S.”
World Relief leadership and our extended community of staff and volunteers acknowledge and repent that racism is not just a scourge afflicting American society but an undeniable disease within the U.S. church. We resolve to challenge the U.S. church to disciple people toward a Christ-like response to prejudice that celebrates the dignity of all people and decries all racist rhetoric, violence and systems.
World Relief calls upon the redemptive power of the Gospel to bind up wounds and empower true reconciliation across every social and racial divide. We urge individuals, organizations and churches to support the Asian American Christian Collaborative by going to www.asianamericanchristiancollaborative.com for resources for faithful action to address anti-Asian racism. We pray for the gift of true repentance in every heart and for the collective body of Jesus Christ to pursue healing, justice and unity as one.
About World Relief
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that brings sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest problems – disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression, and mass displacement. For over 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and community leaders in the U.S. and abroad to bring hope, healing and transformation to the most vulnerable.
Learn more at worldrelief.org.
To download a PDF version of this press release, click here.