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ISAAC response to Virginia Tech tragedy

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
– Psalm 31:9-10 (NRSV)

April 19, 2007

Dear friends,

Like many of you, those of us at the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity have been overwhelmed by the shocking and horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech University. The pain and loss has touched the entire international community. We can barely express our grief. Our utmost desire is to embrace those who have suffered such unimaginable loss. We pray that God will be an abiding source of comfort for all.

As we learn more about Seung Hui Cho’s mental history and his social alienation, we realize that more attention must be given to the mental health needs of all Americans. Likewise, more thoughtful discussion about gun control and the socio-cultural impact of violence in the media may help prevent a repeat of this tragedy.

But we are particularly concerned about the growing fear of backlash in Asian American communities. We therefore urge our nation’s leaders to speak out against and seek to prevent racial profiling and acts of bigotry that target Korean and other Asian Americans. It is our hope that the Cho family and other Asian Americans will be treated fairly and allowed to live without fear.

Finally, we encourage the Christian community to be a healing presence during these difficult times. May our proclamation, in word and deed, of Christ’s gospel of love, peace, and righteousness contribute to the restoration of hope.

Timothy Tseng

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
– Psalm 31:14 (NRSV)

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