Editor’s note: This statement was written and published by the SOLA Network blog a few days after the Atlanta shooting. This gives expression to the grief and anger we at China Partnership have also experienced over this incident. We mourn the tide of anti-Asian and anti-Chinese xenophobia which have been so prevalent since the onset of COVID-19, and pray for gospel redemption.
Anger. Grief. Sadness. Helplessness. Fear. Asian Americans have felt a multitude of emotions from the violent attacks in Atlanta on March 16.
The SOLA Network mourns the deaths of Daoyou Feng (44), Hyun Jung Grant (51), Suncha Kim (69), Paul Andre Michels (54), Soon C. Park (74), Xiaojie Tan (49), Delaina Ashley Yaun (33), and Yong A. Yue (63). We are angered by their deaths and grieve alongside their family members and friends. We also pray for Elcias Hernandez Ortiz, 30, who has survived the shooting but is in intensive care.
We grieve and mourn over the loss of life – that human life, as God’s crown jewel of creation, could be taken away so brutally and recklessly.
We grieve over the growing anti-Asian sentiment in our country. From March 2020 to February 2021, there were almost 3,800 incidents of hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans in this country. The day after the murders in Atlanta, on March 17, a man attacked an elderly Asian man and woman, and both were hospitalized for their injuries.
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We grieve over how the media coverage and official reports minimized and marginalized the concerns and voices of the Asian American community during the investigation.
We grieve over the fears, frustrations, and perpetual foreigner struggles that Asian Americans wrestle through that prevent them from flourishing.
We grieve for the multiple threads of sin that have been exposed this week, including racism and misogyny. Their entanglement has shown how deep and intertwined the roots of sin are in our society.
We grieve over the fact that someone was raised and discipled in churches, only to come to the wrong conclusion that these women were at fault for his personal temptations.
We grieve over the fact that Christianity, the Bible’s teachings, and pursuit of holiness were grossly misappropriated to justify and explain this crime — especially in front of a watching world of unbelievers.
We grieve that this man’s wrestling with sexual sin did not result in genuine repentance and “fighting until the point of bloodshed” internally, but rather choosing to see women as objects of blame and shedding their blood.
We hope that churches this Sunday and beyond would be spaces where Asian American Christians can express lament, rage, and grief. We hope all Christians would support anti-hate campaigns, provide financial support to those in need, and raise gospel awareness to fight misogyny, racism, addiction, and other societal sins. We hope all people who are hurting would seek counseling, with churches standing with them for support.
Finally, we call upon Christians and churches to pray. Pray that churches would tirelessly work for the Gospel, knowing that only the gospel can ultimately heal, forgive, and redeem. Pray for those who weep and mourn. Pray for justice to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Pray that Christians would speak up for the marginalized. Pray that churches would be prophetic voices calling for change, justice, reconciliation, and peace.
“O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!” Psalm 88:1-2