The FBI released a warning last week about a potential surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Michelle Ami Reyes was not surprised. 

Reyes told Religion News Service that she knows people from her church in Austin, Texas, who have been spit on. She also knows people who have been chased down the street to shouts of “coronavirus.”

“A lot of what ministry on the ground lately has looked like is caring for people who are experiencing racism and the grief and the pain and the trauma that comes from that,” said Reyes, who planted Hope Community Church in Austin with her husband.


Signers include National Association of Evangelicals President Walter Kim, World Relief Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy Jenny Yang, North Park Theological Seminary professor Soong-Chan Rah and authors Helen Lee and Kathy Khang.

They also include “friends of the Asian American community” such as pastors Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Sandra Maria Van Opstel and Matt Chandler; artist Propaganda; author Ann Voskamp; Freedom Road President Lisa Sharon Harper; Sojourners President Jim Wallis; and Christianity Today CEO Timothy Dalrymple.