Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Grace and Peace of Christ Jesus be with you!
The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference is one of the most diverse conferences in terms of race and culture. We proudly and thankfully celebrate our cultural and racial diversity whenever we gather. Thanks to the diversity of GNJAC, there are many Korean-American clergies who answered God’s calling. As followers of Jesus Christ, we’d like to share our concern today.
It is not a secret that Asian-Americans have been targets of violence more and more. According to STOP AAPI HATE, violence against Asian-Americans has been reported at least 500 times already in the last two months, and nearly 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, have occurred in the last 12 months. Recently, an 83-year-old Korean-American woman was spat on and punched in the face in an unprovoked attack in New York City. In addition, on Tuesday evening, a man opened fire at three spas in Atlanta, GA, leaving eight people dead. The brazen shootings, which took the lives of six people of Asian descent, stirred considerable outrage and fear in the Asian-American community. While the authorities are still investigating, we, the GNJ Korean-American Clergy Caucus, are deeply concerned about the surge of hate crimes against Asian-Americans that are motivated by the misleading information that Asians brought the pandemic to the U.S.
We believe that failing to address the issue of racism from the pulpit or among the community of faith is not only being silent but being complicit and contributing to the problem of racism. The church is to be the moral and spiritual compass pointing the way out of the sin of racism no matter what the cost. For Christ Jesus, our Lord, taught us to stand with those who are weak and marginalized. Following this solemn commandment of our Lord, we, GNJAC, proudly have been standing with those who are marginalized. When our government unfairly treated immigrants, GNJAC clergy and laity gathered at the immigration detention center and raised our voice of justice. In solidarity of the ongoing racial justice effort, we added our voice to the Black Lives Matter movement. We believe it is time for GNJAC clergy and laity to raise their voices of justice for Asians and Asian-Americans who face a threat and fear. We, GNJ Korean-American Clergy Caucus, urge our beloved Annual Conference and all Christians to speak up for justice at this urgent moment.
Our Lord Jesus set a good example how to care for the marginalized, the outcast and the last throughout his ministry. His ministry always reminds us that until the last one of us finds safety, none of us can be safe. We are hearing the voice of Jesus, saying that none of us in America can be safe until those Asian-Americans feel safe. Please stand up with Asian-Americans in the name of Jesus.
Grace and Peace!
GNJ Korean-American Clergy Caucus