Last April, the Commission on Christian Action and the Commission on Race and Ethnicity released a joint statement calling the RCA and the church universal to take a stand against troubling and vitriolic acts of aggression against Asians. At that time, the rise in anti-Asian rhetoric around the COVID-19 pandemic was cause for great concern. Our society, church, and Asian siblings continue to feel the brunt of this racism and rhetoric today.
In light of the traumatic slaying of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, in March, we renew our call to the RCA and her children to stand against racism in all its forms and seek better for our siblings. We witness that six of the victims of this senseless tragedy were Asian American women, targeted for their perceived role as sex-workers. Their blood stains the crossroads of racism and misogyny. We mourn this horrific loss.
For much of its history, the RCA has been a predominantly Dutch denomination. Over the years, however, our congregations have been enriched with a wide diversity of peoples—African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American. Increasingly, our growing diversity means that we must work harder at rooting out the subtle racism and misogyny that still pervade our church. Those who have been treated as “perpetual strangers” must not only be seen as siblings from afar, but treated as such at our table. As siblings in Christ, we ought to move swiftly to act on the behalf of our family by standing against violence and aggression in any form
Therefore, we are compelled to beseech the congregations, classes, and regional synods, the colleges and seminaries, and all other members and adherents of the Reformed Church in America to engage in meaningful action within your own community, state, or province to support our sisters and Asian siblings who have been silently contributing their gifts and works to the culture and societies of North America. While we must continue to remain in prayer regarding this tragic and unChristlike pain to fulfill God’s commandments together, we are compelled by the gospel to take action as well. We encourage you to:
- Educate yourselves on the lived experiences of women and Asian American and Pacific Islander people in North America.
- Seek resources created by individuals who hold these identities and make an actionable plan for your congregation or institution on what steps will be taken to learn about and combat systemic racism and sexism (resources are listed below).
- Speak out when you see or hear actions that constitute racism or misogyny. Let us do good, going out of our way to stand with, protect, and love our sisters and our siblings of Asian descent.
The Commission on Christian Action
Commission on Race and Ethnicity
Commission for Women
- Anti-Asian Violence Resources Card: A broad collection of resources to help educate ourselves and others on Anti-Asian violence and how to combat it.
- Bystander Intervention Training
- Guide to Bystander Intervention (pamphlet)
- Reporting a Hate Crime
- America’s Long History of Scapegoating its Asian Citizens (National Geographic)
- Asian Americans: the Identity, Contributions, and Challenges experienced by Asian Amercians (PBS)
Resources from the Reformed Church in America
- A Letter to my Fellow Asian Sisters and Brothers: by Rev. Lynn Min, M.Div, LMHC (from Faithward)
- We Are Speaking: A call to the church to end harassment, abuse, and sexual violence against women and girls
- Dismantling racism prayer group: meets twice a month on Tuesdays
- Videos of RCA leaders sharing their experiences with racism and ways to combat it: