We detest, and are utterly appalled, by reported racist xenophobic attacks directed to Africans and people of African descent residing in China. We have heard and seen images of African residents in Guangzhou, evicted from the residences and hotels they were renting, and harassed by police on the streets, in the pretext of controlling the spread of COVID-19.
The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) with its 198 member churches and Christian Councils in 42 African countries, condemn in the strongest terms, the singling out and unjust targeting of people from Africa, a continent so far least affected by the disease. We find it ironic and incomprehensible, the logic behind the vilification and discrimination as well as despicable inhumane stigmatization and treatment of Africans due to this pandemic, while this disease was first diagnosed in China.
The long-term mutual respect between China and Africa should not be sacrificed for political and economic challenges of the moment. We are aware that there are presumably more Chinese people as foreigners residing in almost every African country than from all other nations. Even when COVID-19 was mainly in China, African governments protected Chinese residents in Africa from the anger and vilification targeting Chinese people on the streets of Africa. China is obliged to do the same.
We, the AACC are committed to “RESPECTING THE DIGNITY AND IMAGE OF GOD IN EVERY HUMAN BEING.” We therefore call on:
1. African governments, which have not yet done so, to condemn in the strongest terms, the racist xenophobic attacks against Africans in the whole of China.
2. The African Union, relationships with China notwithstanding, to make an unequivocal, strong protest against these evil acts committed against Africans in China.
3. Churches and civil society in Africa to uphold the virtue of respecting all human beings as created in the image of God.
4. African governments to continue protecting the dignity and safety of people of Chinese descent resident in Africa, to avoid retaliatory attacks by the African citizens seeing the brutality and injustice targeting their relatives and fellow citizens in China.
Blessings and Peace,
REV. DR. FIDON MWOMBEKI