An Open Letter On Anti-Asian Racism & Christian Nationalism

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Former Secretary Pompeo is a member and deacon at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS. Writing for the New York Times, Edward Wong observed, "No Secretary of State has been as open and fervent as Mr. Pompeo about discussing Christianity and foreign policy in the same breath." The DFRLab's analysis of 2020 anti-Chinese tweets reports, "U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s use of the term “[Wuhan] coronavirus” on CNBC and Fox and Friends on March [6] resulted in an 800 percent increase in the phrase." Later that month, Former Sec. Pompeo obstructed a meeting of the G7, preventing the intergovernmental group from issuing a statement on the coronavirus unless they called it "Wuhan virus." Former Sec. Pompeo also affirmed Trump's use of the term "Chinese coronavirus" in an interview with Sean Hannity on March 30, 2020. (For more on the effects of terms like "Wuhan virus," see Senator Marsha Blackburn.)

On May 3, 2020, Former Sec. Pompeo claimed that he had seen "enormous evidence" to support the theory that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan. Such evidence has not been produced.

Eastminster, headed by Pastor Stan Van Den Berg, is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Its website features a "call for lament and prayer" from Tom Werner, Moderator of the 38th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Werner writes, "Because of the clear testimony of God’s Word, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church unambiguously declares that racism in any form is an abomination to the God who created all races and is antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church condemns racism and calls to repentance all individuals, groups, and structures that advocate it."

As of 2019, Kansas' Asian population was approximately 87,018. Kansan Asians have reported experiencing harassment since the beginning of the pandemic. In September, 3 members of a University of Kansas sorority, including the chapter president, were exposed making anti-Asian remarks back in February. A Korean nurse in Salina, KS reported to the New York Times that a COVID-19 patient told her "Thank you for the coronavirus" in April.

For more about Pompeo and Eastminster Presbyterian's response, see the Timeline.