Today Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, issued a statement addressing anti-Asian racism and violence.

“As a nation, we continue to witness and suffer from the cruelties of racial and gender-based violence,” the statement read, in part. “In recent days, we have witnessed the horror of gun violence in Atlanta and the vandalism of one of our ELCA congregations in Seattle.”

“As church we grieve the mass shooting in Atlanta, Ga., that took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women,” the statement continued.

“Over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in anti-Asian racism and violent attacks, fueled by hate speech and racist political rhetoric. The organization Stop AAPI Hate has tracked 3,795 hate incident reports from Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Women constituted 68% of the victims, with many reporting instances of sexual harassment and sexual and physical abuse. Reports of escalating violence do not stop in the United States—they are global.”

Eaton invited readers to watch a video in which members of the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders-ELCA share the “Embodied Blessing and Healing” prayer, part of the litany for the church’s day of lament for anti-Asian racism.

Read the full statement.

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