Security a growing concern at Raleigh’s Asian American churches

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Asian Americans being attacked has been a growing trend in the country. The hate crimes picked up at the start of the pandemic. With Easter quickly approaching, CBS 17 wondered what Asian American churches might be doing to protect those in the pews.

Some central North Carolina churches already have a police presence or have security plans in place.

Pastor Gary Lee with Rooted Church in Raleigh calls it disturbing. He started his church back in 2019 as an Asian American and Multi-Cultural religious community.

“We are all one people. We believe in dignity of man, the fact that we’re all made in God’s image,” Lee said.

But he admitted some in his congregation have concerns.

“Our people experience Asian American hate from different degrees — from verbal insults to having, knowing people that have been attacked,” Lee said.

He encouraged them to pray and advises them to go out in groups.

Lee’s church is working on a security plan.

“We do also want to be wise and prudent in case an active shooter came in. We have policies that are in the process of being developed,” he said.

CBS 17 also caught up with the Raleigh Korean Presbyterian Church as it prepared for its Good Friday service.

When asked if they had any safety concerns gathering: “Not as much here in Raleigh, but my friends who are in larger cities, they’re more concerned,” Pastor Sanghyan Lee said.

They’ve got pandemic precautions in place and are looking forward to coming together in person.

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