Christian Leaders Condemn Misogyny and Anti-Asian Violence in the Wake of the Georgia Shootings

A horrific spree of violence in Georgia left eight people dead — six of whom were Asian women. Police have arrested a suspect and are investigating a motive, but the tragedy has called renewed attention to the huge spike in anti-Asian hate crimes over the last year and the particular horrors faced by women of color in the U.S.

Police have released the names of four of the victims who worked at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in Cherokee County where the first shooting took place. They were Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Yan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44. Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, was injured but not killed in the shooting.

As of this writing, Atlanta police have not released the names of the rest victims.

The suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, told police that he had a sexual addiction and believed that he was going to “eliminate his temptation.” Yahoo reports that Long was “big into religion,” according to people who knew him, and was a member of Crabapple First Baptist Church. An Instagram account that appeared to belong to Long read: “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life.”

On social media, Christian leaders spoke out in condemnation of anti-Asian racism, gun violence and the dehumanization of women.

“There has been a documented pattern of recent attacks against our community, as we have received nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020,” Stop AAPI Hate said in a statement.  “Not enough has been done to protect Asian Americans from heightened levels of hate, discrimination and violence.” Of those reports, 68 percent of the victims were women.

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