VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 12/7/12)—In recognition of the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) debuts a new video, “A Church Stands With Its People.”
The video documents the struggles of those of Japanese descent living on the U.S. West Coast following Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the courageous ministry of American Baptist missionaries who served among them.
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb.19, 1942, thousands of Japanese Americans were forced from their homes to unjust imprisonment in U.S. internment camps.
Japanese Americans were subjected to harsh living conditions in the camps, where they were relocated because of wartime hysteria that they would serve as spies for the country of their heritage. Two-thirds of those interned, born on American soil, were U.S. citizens. The imprisoned included parents of American-born young men fighting in U.S. military units. During this bleak period in U.S. history, American Baptist home missionaries swam against the tide of popular opinion, affirming Japanese Americans as their brothers and sisters, and serving among them as the hands and feet of Christ.
Posted on ABHMS’ website, “A Church Stands With Its People” features firsthand accounts of those who lived the internment experience.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.