200 Buddhists seek karmic healing against anti-Asian hate at Antioch pilgrimage


Hundreds of Buddhists convened in Antioch, California, in a bid to reconcile the city's dark past with a vision for a more inclusive future.

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  • The pilgrimage took place at Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre, where participants offered chants and prayers at the altar of Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy and compassion. Four tablets resting at the altar bore the names of hate victims.

  • The gathering included Buddhists from various countries, including China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Tibet, India and Sri Lanka. Throughout the event, holy chants reverberated in multiple languages, including Pali, the ancient language closest to the one spoken by the Buddha himself.

  • During the event, organizers drew parallels between the 19th-century treatment of Chinese immigrants and the recent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes. Duncan Williams, one of the event organizers, emphasized the importance of “a Buddhist response that draws on our teachings and practice” to heal racial trauma.

  • Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Russell Jeung believes these Buddhist ceremonies help Asian Americans reclaim their traditions and heal from the "moral injury" caused by harmful rhetoric similar to Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus."


  • Antioch was the first U.S. city to issue a formal apology for the mistreatment of early Chinese immigrant laborers.

  • The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first law in U.S. history to restrict immigration specifically based on race.

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