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San Francisco, Calif., Mar 30, 2021 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of San Francisco on Tuesday urged an end to violence against Asian people in the city and across the US, and announced a prayer service for peace.

“The rise in violence against Asian people across the country is alarming and horrific to all people of right reason,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote in a March 30 statement.

The number of attacks on Asian Americans in the United States has reportedly increased over the last year. A series of shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors earlier this month killed six women of Asian descent.

The archbishop said that “all the more disturbing are the brutal assaults that have been perpetrated against Asian-Americans here in San Francisco in recent days.”

Ron Tuason, who is of Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish descent, was attacked at a bus stop in the city March 13 by a man using anti-Asian slurs; and on March 17, Xiao Zhen Xie, 70, was assaulted near the Tenderloin neighborhood.

“This is not San Francisco,” Archbishop Cordileone exclaimed. “On the contrary, our city has always been an epicenter of Asian-American culture, with recurring waves of Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, South Asian, and other immigrants overcoming discrimination and hardship to contribute to the rich tapestry of this city’s life.”
 
“In our own Catholic community we are blessed to be enriched by many vibrant Asian communities, which bring much vitality to our people’s faith lives.”

He said that “as Catholics, we also belong to a global faith community that is the most diverse and multicultural institution in the world; and as Americans, we have a responsibility on the global stage to show respect for all people, affirming their human dignity. We must, then, lead by example in working toward the much spoken-of but ever elusive unity that is so needed and desired in our society right now.”

The archbishop announced that the Archdiocese of San Francisco will hold a prayer service April 10 at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, praying “for an end to violence and racism particularly against Asians, for healing for our nation, and for the flourishing of peace and justice in our land.”

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