The Asian and Pacific Islander Association of the ELCA has issued a statement addressing the recent increase in violence directed toward Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The ELCA Conference of Bishops affirmed the statement during their virtual meeting today.

“The COVID-related surge in anti-Asian violence is physically and spiritually assaulting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities,” the statement read, in part. “This violence re-emerged from America’s historical and pervasive sin of racism. Asian American and Pacific Islander children and adults are facing assaults with racial slurs, bullying, spitting, physical injury, and even death.”

In the statement, the association called on the church to “once again unequivocally denounce racism by taking immediate actions to defend, protect, and uphold the safety and lives of Asian Americans.”

Read the full statement.

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