President Biden

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 28 September 2021 23:31)

President Biden,

Collectively, participants in the Ecumenical Forum for Korea (EFK) hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC), have a long history and vast experience of humanitarian and development activities in North Korea, and of advocacy and action for sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In addition to engaging in humanitarian and development activities to help reduce suffering and improve the lives of North Korean people, we promote and support people-to-people encounter, dialogue and cooperation between North and South Koreans as an indispensable basis for peace. As organizations founded on Christian faith and teachings, we believe strongly in the equal God-given dignity and rights of every human being, regardless - among other things - of nationality, political affiliation and beliefs.

We therefore write to appeal to you and your Administration to reconsider the current policy on sanctions against the DPRK.

While we share many of the concerns upon which these sanctions are based, they have failed to resolve those concerns, despite being among the most rigorous, systemic and longest-standing sanctions regimes ever imposed.

Read more: President Biden


A Collective Statement on the Atlanta Asian Hate Crime”

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Statement on the Atlanta Asian Hate Crime

Eight people were killed in a shooting incident in Atlanta, USA on March 16, of which six were Asian workers. This is an obvious hate crime in that the offender, who is a white male, aimed at shops where female Asians are working from the outset. Since Anti-Asian sentiment has been rapidly spreading in the US after the spread of COVID-19 and the US government has not actively resolved this issue despite the rapid increase in hate crimes, this is a social disaster, not an accident.

According to Stop AAPI Hate (American Civil Organization), hate crimes against Asians living in the USA have surged over the past year after COVID-19 spread, resulting in a total of 3,795 cases in 46 states, with an average of 11 cases per day. In particular, as the former President Donald Trump's discriminatory remarks against Asians in relation to the spread of COVID-19, and the addition of racist agitation remarks by Republican officials, hatred toward Asians rapidly spread. According to the same report, 68% of those who experienced hate crimes were women, 2.3 times more than men. This shows the vulnerability of Asians in the United States, especially women, to discrimination and crime.

Hate crime laws have been enacted in many states in the United States, as well as in the state of Georgia where the crime took place. However, because a hate crime law deals with criminal motive, it is rarely applied. In particular, there is a tendency that hate crimes are not applied to crimes against Asians because it is hard to find “Anti-Asian symbols”. Despite the increasing discrimination and crimes against Asians after COVID-19, and increase of the fear and pain that Asians are suffering after this gun murder case, the law as a countermeasure is not working.

In addition, even if Asians suffer hate crimes due to the discriminatory and violent words and actions of the USA police against people of color, there are many cases where reports are avoided. Even if Asians are exposed to hate crimes, they know how harshly the police treat people of color, so they can't report being worried of the problem is getting bigger or getting hurt. However, this tendency opens up the possibility that the perpetrators are not punished

and inflict more serious violence. If USA governments and the police do not have awareness and reflection on this that means no willingness to resolve hate crimes.

For this reality, first of all, Asian civil societies expresses deep sorrow and anger at the horror and pain that Asians in the USA are experiencing, and in particular expresses deep condolences to the families of the victims of this Atlanta shooting. Second, Asian civil societies urges USA governments and judiciaries to protect Asian lives and human rights, and for this purpose, we demand that the Atlanta case and similar crimes be prosecuted and punished as hate crimes. Third, Asian civil societies demands concrete and practical practices to prevent this from happening again.

Asian civil societies will continue to watch USA governments and American society, and demand that the USA, which claims to be a human rights state, overcome racism and becomes a society with real human rights and freedoms that protects the lives and human rights of all people.

Read more: A Collective Statement on the Atlanta Asian Hate Crime”


Xenophobia and Racism have no place in modern society

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Last Updated (Friday, 30 April 2021 17:50)

As COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally, so do xenophobia and racism in the US and elsewhere. We trace this to former president Donald Trump who used very discriminatory rhetoric to describe the coronavirus and that was hyped by Fox News. Since then, hundreds of Asian Americans have been violently attacked. This wouldn't have happened if their disparaging remarks and extreme ideology weren't supported by a large swath of Americans. Such a shame for a country that prides itself to be a melting pot and a land of equal opportunities.

Of course, such attacks are not new. Ever since the Pearl Harbour attack, Asian Americans have been subjected to all forms of targeted hate crimes. In the 1980s, anti-Asian xenophobia and racism fuelled by the US auto industry decline lead to the murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin in Detroit by two men who blamed Asians for their losing their jobs.

On 12 February 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris said that hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants have skyrocketed during the pandemic. According to the organization Stop AAPI Hate, from March 2020 through February 2021, 3,795 first-hand reports of anti-Asian hate incidents were collected from 47 states and the District of Columbia. In March 2021 six Asian women were among those killed when a gunman opened fire in three Atlanta-area massage parlours. These senseless acts of violence are just some horrific examples of recent painful reality of rising anti-Asian violence in the US.

We note that President Joe Biden has signed a memorandum denouncing the Trump administration’s discriminatory sentiments directed at the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. But signing a memorandum is not enough. The problems need to be addressed at the source. Xenophobia and racism have become systemic and needs to be dismantled.

While hate crime laws have been enacted in many states in the United States, their implementation and application have been found lacking. All recent acts of violence against Asian Americans have been treated as random isolated cases and “not racially motivated”. We must acknowledge that the problem is not a few bad apples, but instead the problem is the very way that economic, political and social life is structured. Being xenophobic and racist is not genetically inherited traits but learned ones.

The APAY is deeply saddened by these events and grieve with our Asian American sisters and brothers. APAY strongly condemns such discriminatory behaviours and stands against all forms of xenophobia and racism, not only in the US but anywhere and everywhere. APAY is committed to the Challenge 21 and to fostering dialogue and partnership between people of different faiths and ideologies and recognizing the cultural identities of people and promoting cultural renewal.

The YMCAs in the Asia Pacific region offer our solidarity and support to YMCAs in North America region and around the world who are working with communities to combat systemic problems of discrimination, xenophobia and racism and to reimagine community with safety, diversity and inclusion.

We urge the local governments and agencies to increase investments in community-led programs and to adopt concrete action plans tailored to the new and changing circumstances, including a designated agency, to address emerging forms of discrimination, racism and xenophobia.

16th April 2021

Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs


Urgent Call for Intervention in Myanmar

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Last Updated (Saturday, 03 April 2021 18:27)


– Urgent Call for Intervention in Myanmar –


“A year ago, a wake-up call came from Coronavirus to humanity, the second wake-up call came recently from Myanmar to the people of Asia, if not to humanity”. “Can you sleep in peace when your neighbors are being killed like chickens and birds?”

In response to people’s cry and sufferings, APAY in close collaboration with World Alliance of YMCAs launched an Urgent Call petition to UN Human Rights Council urging urgent intervention in Myanmar, calling for a peaceful restoration of democracy in Myanmar. More than 70 national/territorial YMCAs around the world signed the petition letter alongside like-minded ecumenical organizations and NGOs in our region and beyond. But still, peoples, particularly young people, continue to go out to the streets for peaceful protests amid heightening threats, brutal suppressions and even shootings with bullets.

Ms. Ak Kee, a youth volunteer from Myitkyina YMCA, Kachin State, is still in prison after being arrested during her peaceful protest on a street in the city though Ronnie Lyan, Hakha YMCA General Secretary, was released about 10 days ago. APAY also launched a fund-raising campaign with a view to supporting the Myanmar YMCAs, particularly for those and their families who were arrested and detained during their peaceful protests. For direct donation, kindly visit the weblink connected to the WAY website:

The following is the urgent call letter of World YMCA issued on 17th March, signed by World Alliance of YMCAs, Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) and more than 70 national/territorial YMCAs in the world.


Read more: Urgent Call for Intervention in Myanmar


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