Baptist World Alliance Resolutions

(In Reverse Historical Order)

Compiled by Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer, BWA Historian

Welcome to the Baptist World Alliance Historical Archive!

We are pleased to share with you the entire set of Resolutions, Manifestos, Messages and Proclamations approved by delegates attending the Baptist World Alliance World Congresses from 1905 through 2015 (the 2020 Congress has been postponed to 2021 due to the global pandemic).

Additionally, we are offering the Resolutions and Manifestos approved by the BWA General Council, which meets yearly. At this point, the online collection includes the years 2009-2019, but will be expanded to include previous years over time.

Each Resolution document is in PDF format and seeks to reproduce the original text as closely as possible. This means that language and punctuation may be archaic and not in accordance with contemporary standards of discourse. Spellings of words sometimes are in British English and have been preserved as they were originally published. I am solely responsible for any typographical errors in reproduction, and I would deeply appreciate it if you would share with me any that you may discover.

It is the BWA’s hope that this collection will be useful to scholars, historians, denominational leaders, and clergy. Each document now contains a unique identification number, topical keywords and four types of citations for academic purposes.

The range of issues covered by the collection is comprehensive, and many of the Resolutions speak to contemporary concerns (such as racism, antisemitism, poverty and war) with multi-cultural wisdom, spiritual integrity, and intellectual depth. Readers seeking to learn how Baptists on a global scale and across time have addressed the human condition in all of its variations (moral, social, economic, political, etc.) will be rewarded as well as challenged.

In Baptist polity, Resolutions and other collective statements are not binding on Baptist individuals or churches. They intend to share wisdom and raise consciousness rather than to demand or coerce conformity or hinder the soul freedom and responsibility of people to follow God according to the dictates of their own Christ-led conscience. In the foreword to the 1955 Golden Jubilee World Congress Official Report (p. 6), BWA General Secretary Arnold T. Ohrn stated this principle well:

Further, it should be understood that an Alliance Congress, when adopting pronouncements, can speak for itself alone. The resolutions naturally carry great moral authority, coming as they do from a Congress so representative of Baptists in the entire world. But no union or convention has ever authorized a Baptist World Congress to speak on its behalf. The people who voted for the resolutions, did so on their own behalf, not on behalf of their churches or conventions. But these statements would never have been proposed, much less adopted, if they were not considered indicative of the trends of opinion within the Baptist world.

If you should need any further assistance in utilizing this online historical archive, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer,
BWA Historian (historian[@]baptistworld.org)

For ease of reference, click one of the buttons below to see resolutions in that category.

By Decade – General Council

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2010s
2019 Council, Nassau, Bahamas
Recognizing and Affirming the Calling of Women in the Church

CELEBRATES the Baptist International Conference on Theological Education that met in Nassau, Bahamas, July 5-7, 2019, with the theme of “TOGETHER: Re-Imagining, Re-Reading HERstory in the Church,” with significant discussions of women in the church;

2018 Council, Zurich, Switzerland

Resolution Opposing Violence and Abuse of Women and Girls

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, July 2-6:
AFFIRMS that women and girls are created in the image of God and invested with inestimable worth and dignity as gifts from God, and are essential to the health and vitality of families, churches, communities, and national life;

Resolution on Freedom of Religion in the Lugansk Region in Eastern Ukraine

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, July 2-6, 2018:
EXPRESSES concern that that the situation for religious communities is precarious in the eastern part of Ukraine – the Lugansk region. The region is part of a conflict area now widely understood to be under the control of Russia, which has recognized the area as “The Lugansk Peoples Republic (LPR).”

Resolution on Preserving the Primacy of Family in Immigration

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, July 2-6, 2018:
RECOGNIZES that the human desire to preserve and protect one’s family from violence, disease, economic depravity, and other threatening conditions is universal and drives millions of people to leave their homelands seeking better lives for themselves and their family members;

2017 Council, Bangkok, Thailand

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:
AFFIRMS freedom of religion and belief as a core value borne out in Baptist history and opposes all forms of discrimination based on faith or religion;

Resolution on the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:
STATES its concerns at the climate of political and social instability and violence in Venezuela, which has led to deteriorating socio-economic conditions, including a shortage of food and medicines;

Resolution on Religious Freedom in Russia

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:
REAFFIRMS our historic Baptist commitment to religious freedom as a gift of God to all people, regardless of denomination or religion; and that this same commitment is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, to which the Russian Federation is a signatory;

Resolution on Refugees in East Africa

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:
NOTES with appreciation the resolution titled “Ministry to Refugees” adopted by the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 6-8, 2016;

Resolution on Human Slavery and Trafficking

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:

ACKNOWLEDGES that General Council has regularly reminded the global family of Baptists about the evil practice of modern slavery;

2016 Council, Vancouver, Canada
Resolution on Ministry to Refugees

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 6-8, 2016:
ACKNOWLEDGES the profound challenges created in many parts of our world by the massive flow of refugees and displaced persons,

Resolution on the Paris Agreement and Climate Change

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 6-8, 2016: CONTINUES TO BELIEVE AND AFFIRM:
• God is the creator, sustainer, and Lord of all, delights in creation, and is committed to its care and renewal;
• The biblical teaching that the earth is God’s creation and we, also as God’s creation, are to nurture and care for it;

2015 General Council Resolutions Paper

Appendix II: Baptist World Alliance Resolutions Paper

1. The diverse worldwide Baptist family, represented through the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), is concerned about the contemporary religious, missional, social, cultural, political and economic issues that affect the global family.

2. One means of giving expression to the conclusions Baptists draw on issues of concern to them, and of bearing witness to this before the world, is through the preparation, adoption and sharing of resolutions proposed by member bodies, commissions, etc., for approval by the BWA General Council.

3. BWA’s approach to framing resolutions is informed by biblical teaching and predicated on Baptists’ trinitarian faith. The resolutions are shaped by the values and convictions generally affirmed by Baptists and are proposed by members of the Baptist family, or by the Resolutions Committee, which also considers, reviews and amends them where necessary for presentation to the General Council for consideration and possible adoption.

2014 Council, Izmir, Turkey
Situation in Ukraine

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:

NOTES with concern that, in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine generally, the situation has led to increased religious persecution, especially against evangelical Christians;

Resolution on Corruption

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

Christians at Risk of Persecution

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
RECOGNIZES the very real dangers faced by many Christians in various parts of the world who experience intolerance and persecution from governments and authorities of different political, religious and ideological persuasions;

Encouraging Discipleship in Turkey

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014: RECOGNIZES the courage and faithfulness of the disciples of Christ in the nation of Turkey;
ACKNOWLEDGES the government’s efforts towards mutual respect and tolerance among different religious groups, which help promote peace and harmony among all of its peoples;

Myanmar, Violence and Religious Liberty

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir Turkey, July 9-11, 2014: AFFIRMS the many significant steps taken by President Thein Sein’s government in Myanmar in recent years to relax restrictions and permit a more open society.

2013 Council, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Kachin Crisis

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
LAMENTS the atrocities occurring in Rakhine, Chin, Karen and Kachin states in Myanmar;

Child Sexual Abuse in the Church

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
AFFIRMS the intrinsic and inestimable value of children and young people as gifts from God and as the promise of future generations;

Current Crisis on the Korean Peninsula

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
NOTES, with concern, the nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the escalation of rhetoric involving the DPRK, Republic of Korea and the USA of America, and the fear that this can lead to armed conflict in the region;

Haiti (Resolution)

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
NOTES that English-speaking Caribbean nations have expressed a desire to eliminate the legal practice of making appeals from Caribbean courts to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, based on concerns for political identity, self-determination and national sovereignty;

Resolution on Haiti

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
ACKNOWLEDGES that the Republic of Haiti was the first, and for a long time, the only state in the world to recognize equality of rights for all human beings regardless of gender, economic condition or any other consideration;

Human Rights Based on the Work of Anabaptist Richard Overton

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013, in honor of the Human Rights Advocacy award winner for 2013, Glen Stassen:
RECALLS the contributions of English Anabaptist Richard Overton who encouraged Christians to discover human rights by recognizing the rule of God as revealed in Jesus;

Resolution on Displaced Persons

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
REMEMBERS that the Bible honors displaced persons, including the people of Israel who lived as exiles for forty years before entering Canaan (Exodus 13ff.), and who later experienced displacement, loss and trauma when exiled to Assyria and Babylon (e.g. 2 Kings 24:10-16), and the Lord Jesus Christ who, with his family, experienced life as a displaced person (Matthew 2:13-23);

Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
ACKNOWLEDGES that impact of the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East and North Africa has led to an increase in the persecution of minorities, including Christians;

End to United States of America (USA) Embargo on Cuba

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
ACKNOWLEDGES that more than two decades have passed since the end of the Cold War, and that most negative manifestations of that struggle have been ameliorated, except for the continuing USA embargo against Cuba begun in 1960;

Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:
BELIEVES that everyone is created in the image of God and so possesses inalienable dignity and value, and that Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for both women and men, commands us to love one another, as he has loved us (John 13:43);

2012 Council, Santiago, Chile

Climate Change and our Responsibility

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

Crisis in Nigeria

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

Global Baptist Mission

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

Religious Liberty

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

Appreciation for Gardner Calvin Taylor

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir, Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:
ACKNOWLEDGES that every human being is created in the image of God and thereby has an intrinsic
value to God and to the world (Genesis 1:26-27);

2000s
2009 Council, Ede, Netherlands
Religious Freedom Violations in Azerbaijan

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ede, the Netherlands, July 27- August 1, 2009;
Recollects, celebrating 400 years of Baptist life, that from the beginning our founders stood for freedom of conscience and freedom of religion for all people regardless of their beliefs or non-belief;

Living Water

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Ede, the Netherlands, July 27- August 1, 2009;
Gives thanks to God for the impact of the ‘Living Water’ conferences on evangelism and leadership development in regional and national Baptist bodies;

Appreciation

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Ede, the Netherlands, July 27- August 1, 2009;
Offers sincere thanks to the Union of Baptist Churches in the Netherlands for the invitation to hold this Annual Gathering in Ede on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the first Baptist congregation, formed in Amsterdam in 1609;

Baptist-Muslim Relations

Welcomes the opportunities opened up by the friendly and constructive spirit in which A Common Word, signed by 138 Muslim scholars and leaders, has been written;

Climate Change

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ede, the Netherlands, July 27-August 1, 2009;
Affirms the biblical teaching of respect for the Earth and everything in it, and the moral imperative to love one’s neighbors as oneself including those of future generations;