Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

BWA General Council Resolution 2017.3

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;

RECALLS that freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental pillar in the Constitution of the United States of America;

NOTES that the current travel ban on residents of several Muslim-majority nations raises serious concerns about religious freedom and contravenes the BWA conviction that no law should be used to discriminate on the basis of religion;

URGES President Donald Trump and the United States Government to affirm the historic commitment to religious freedom for all people as the legal process around the travel ban continues; and

CALLS upon Baptists in the United States to defend the cherished Baptist principle of religious

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017), p. 147.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2017.3 Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2017.3).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

Resolution on Religious Freedom in Russia

BWA General Council Resolution 2017.2

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;

NOTES with great concern the passage of recent legislation that restricts evangelism and missionary work by minority faiths, which has led to a deterioration of religious freedom in Russia;

REGRETS the application of this law to make Jehovah’s Witnesses illegal as a religious denomination, labelling it as an “extremist group” and seeking to criminalize its worship;

NOTES with concern that fellow Baptists and other Christian believers in Russia have been arrested and fined during the past year due to the new laws curtailing religious liberty;

COMMENDS the response of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists for standing for the principle of religious freedom for everyone, even for those with whom they have deep differences, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses; and for having expressed to President Putin its “profound concern” at this violation “of freedom of conscience of tens of thousands of citizens of the Russian Federation who confess the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses”;

URGES the president, government and judiciary of the Russian Federation to restore the religious rights of all people, especially the Jehovah’s Witnesses, at the forthcoming Appeal of their being declared an illegal organization;

AFFIRMS the rights of all religious groups in Russia, especially religious minorities, to legally exist and to worship in freedom, as provided for in the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the United Nations Declarations on Human Rights, Article 18.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017), p. 146.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2017.2 Resolution on Religious Freedom in Russia; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2017.2).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

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

BWA General Council Resolution 2018.1

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).” Recently the LPR launched a law on religion (LPR law #211-II “On the freedom of conscience and religious associations”) from 02/02/2018. This law violates universal human rights, restricts religious freedom, and threatens the existence of existing religious groups and organizational networks;

REGRETS that all religious organizations within the LPR, except the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), must now prove their loyalty to LPR authorities through a re- registration procedure in order to maintain their legal status. This includes an obligation for all religious organizations to report in detail their activities;

NOTES that these limitations and regulations are violating Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 of the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights, and Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

AFFIRMS our commitment as Baptists to the biblical concept that all people are created in God’s image and endowed with freedom to worship and practice their religion according to the dictates of their own hearts;

URGES the Lugansk Peoples Republic, regarding Baptist and other churches, to change the law in order to make it compatible with Freedom of Religion or Belief as stated in the international declarations, conventions, and agreements;

ENCOURAGES the Russian Republic to influence the Lugansk Peoples Republic to change the law in order to make it compatible with full Freedom of Religion or Belief; and

CALLS upon the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to gather information on the situation in the Lugansk region and to visit the Lugansk area and the authorities in order to put pressure on them to change the law.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Brown, Elijah M., editor. Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Elijah M. Brown, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018), p. 149.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2018.1 Resolution on Freedom of Religion in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2018.1).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

Resolution on Preserving the Primacy of Family in Immigration

BWA General Council Resolution 2018.3

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;

AFFIRMS the clear biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and for followers of Jesus to respond with love and justice to the plight of immigrants, migrants, and refugees (Micah 6:8; Matt. 22:34- 40, 25:35, 40; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:1-3.);

ASSERTS our belief that God created the family as the primary social unit, and that families are integral to a healthy society;

REAFFIRMS our past resolutions noting our position on the rights and dignity of immigrants, migrants, and refugees, including those adopted in 2013, 2016, and 2017;

LAMENTS recent actions by the U.S. government that separated more than 2,000 migrant children from the parents, many of whom remain in detention even as their parents have already been deported;

REJECTS claims by some U.S. government officials that the Bible justifies a policy of forced separation of families, and urges the U.S. government to work toward reuniting each family and prevent such separations in the future;

CALLS upon individuals, churches, and religious organizations to be involved in immigration issues supporting the primacy of family solidarity;

ENCOURAGES all Baptists to prophetically challenge immoral policies that seek to undermine the rights and dignity of immigrants, migrants, and refugees; and

URGES all governments to follow international law regarding the proper treatment of immigrants, migrants, and refugees, and to uphold the primacy of the family unit.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Brown, Elijah M., editor. Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Elijah M. Brown, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018), p. 151.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2018.3 Resolution on Preserving the Primacy of Family in Immigration; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2018.3).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

Kachin Crisis

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11

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;

RECALLS that Baptist missionaries, Adoniram and Ann Judson, arrived on the shores of Myanmar in 1813 and Eugenio Kincaid, the Judsons’ missionary colleague, first addressed the Kachins in 1837;

AFFIRMS Jesus’ teaching that his followers should do to others what we would have them do to us “for this sums up the Law and Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) and the scriptural injunction to love our neighbors as ourselves (See, for example, Galatians 5:14);

NOTES that the Kachin Baptist Convention, founded in 1910, represents the majority of Kachin people living in Myanmar and around the world and is a member of the Myanmar Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance, sharing the Christian commitment to peace and justice;

REGRETS that, in June 2011, a seventeen-year cease-fire between the Myanmar army and the Kachin Independence Army broke down and, although the president of Myanmar ordered the military on December 10, 2011, to stop their offensive, the war in the Kachin State has escalated;

LAMENTS that large numbers of innocent civilians have been killed and many women have been raped as part of a strategy of violence. More than 200 Kachin Baptist villages have been lost and at least sixty six places of worship have been destroyed. The war has forced more than 100,000 civilians to flee their homes and live in camps as Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs);

SUPPORTS the following public statement issued by the Kachin Baptist Convention on January 30, 2013, calling on all parties involved:

• “To immediately cease military operations at this time when the Myanmar president’s Roadmap to Peace is being implemented, as it is creating mistrust and affecting national unity for the brothers and sisters of all ethnic groups of Myanmar.”

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11

• “To permit fast and effective access to humanitarian assistance by the removal of barriers to the UN agencies and international human rights organizations from reaching areas in need to ensure physical and emotional security of innocent civilians.”

• “To cease all harassment, arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention of civilians under the guise of security and other reason, cease military attacks upon civilians and those in the IDP camps, the burning of houses and villages, and sexual violence against female civilians, and to respect human rights laws.”

• “We do not believe that the use of force to attain peace can achieve sustainable peace. We urge an immediate political dialogue through the setting up of clear policies and procedures in order to secure a truly genuine and just peace;”

CALLS UPON Baptists worldwide:

• to stand with our Kachin Christian brothers and sisters in Myanmar and around the world to find solutions to this conflict and to all situations of ethnic cleansing through the power of prayer and nonviolent peacemaking; and

• to support actions of the United Nations and other nongovernmental organizations to promote relief work, establish justice, and return peace to this land.

Citations

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11 Kachin Crisis

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), pp. 145- 146.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11 Kachin Crisis; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.