The Christmas Statement of 2016

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

— Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ in this Advent Season, we are dismayed by the election of a presidential candidate whose campaign has encouraged hate against religious and ethnic minorities, discrimination against immigrant and LGBTQ communities, and sexual assault against women, among other things.

Even more disappointing are the ways by which our Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Christian communities have supported his campaign, both explicitly and through our silence.  It is worrisome, at the very least, that many pastors of our ethnic Christian congregations have chosen to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach or even advocated in support of the current President-elect, without adequately addressing the biblical mandates on such issues.

The Christmas story, reminds us that Jesus was a member of an ethnic and religious minority within a large empire.  He became an immigrant and refugee, forced to flee the danger within his homeland and migrate to another country for survival.  And his gospel, far from being restricted to a select group of society, omitted nobody on any basis of gender, social class, religious background, ethnicity, or citizenship.   We as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Christians find the culture of today to be much like the times of Jesus the Christ. As followers of that Christ, we are called to be courageous in the face of prevailing social and political trends, even as He was during his earthly life.

Looking to the new year, we hold on the hope that to love God and to love our neighbors is to stand up for justice, to stand out with love, and to stand in unceasing and full solidarity with the vulnerable and marginalized.

We call upon all Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Christians and friends who seek social justice through Christian discipleship to gather on the first Sunday after the inauguration, January 22, 2017, for prayer, training, and further planning on how to best engage our Christian communities and beyond, at a time and location that will soon be announced. Join our email list using the form below and check back on this website frequently for updates.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

— 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)

– Asian-American and Pacific Islander Christians for Social Justice (AAPI-CSJ)