Statement Against Violence toward Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders
The Faculty and Administration of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Holy Week 2021
In this week, Jesus poured out his life for the sake of the world God made and called good.
Trusting in the goodness of God's creation and the hope of its redemption, we, the faculty and administration of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, condemn the murder of Asian American and Asian women in Georgia, acts of violence against persons of Asian descent in the United States, and the continuing cycles of hatred, terror, and murder in our country.
Asians and Asian American communities deserve to be treated with dignity.
As faculty members and administrative leaders of a school of the church, we bear witness that such attacks are incompatible with the Christian affirmation that all persons are made in the image of God. We bear witness to the new commandment that Jesus gave: to love one another. The violence we lament is the latest chapter in our nation’s sinful history of xenophobia and misogyny, of injustice towards black and brown bodies and women, and of the ideology of white male supremacy. The need for justice extends to all communities of color in our nation.
We also bear witness to the Day of Pentecost, when God’s Spirit is poured out upon all, when human siblings hear and understand each other, and when a new community is formed. In the promise and command of that new community, we have hope. The Scriptures proclaim God’s vision of peace for the entire human family, where swords have been beaten into plowshares and the lion dwells with the lamb. The church, culturally diverse since that Day of Pentecost, is called to welcome people from east and west, south and north, to sit at table together, and to give witness even now to a new heaven and new earth, when mourning, crying, and pain will be no more.
Throughout Eastertide, we, the Austin Seminary community, repent for our silence in the face of white supremacist violence. Further, we pledge that we will hold each other accountable in our teaching, deliberations, and the structure of our curriculum, to actively attend to the contributions of persons of Asian descent, to dismantle sexism, to repair the damage of racism, and to strive for a school, church, community, and world where all of God’s children are loved as holy friends.