Situation in Ukraine

Situation in Ukraine

BWA General Council Resolution 2014.5

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

ACKNOWLEDGES, with deep sadness and great concern, the current political crisis in Ukraine that has resulted in armed conflict, loss of life, displacement of many people and severe tension between Russia and Ukraine;

NOTES with concern that, in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine generally, the situation has led to increased religious persecution, especially against evangelical Christians; BELIEVES that our allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord transcends all our national allegiances and aspirations, and that Christ, by his death on the Cross has “broken down the dividing walls of hostility”
(Ephesians 2:14), now and for all time to come;

SUPPORTS all efforts by the international community towards freedom, justice and peace for the whole of Ukraine, and all initiatives towards the reconciliation of those who have been in conflict with each another;

ENCOURAGES the work of Ukrainian Baptists in reaching out in the love of Christ to those most affected by the conflict;

URGES the leaders and churches of the Baptist Unions of Ukraine and Russia to overcome prejudice and misunderstanding in the situation, to seek to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to each other, and to continue to work together in partnership towards a common vision of mission and the growth of the Kingdom of God in their region; and

PROMISES to continue to pray for peace and reconciliation among the people of Ukraine and their political leaders, and to support our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine in the challenging days to come.

“Blessed are the peacemakers…” (Matthew 5:9).

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2014 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2014.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2014 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2014), p. 142.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2014.5 Situation in Ukraine; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2014.5).

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

Situation in Ukraine

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.

Situation in Ukraine

Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council, meeting in Nassau, Bahamas, July 7-12, 2019:

EXPRESSES its deep concern over recent instances of religious intolerance and religiously- motivated violence around the world since its last meeting in 2018, including but not limited to: the attacks against synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; and Poway, California, USA; attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand against two mosques; and the deaths and injuries to hundreds of Christians during a coordinated set of bombings throughout Sri Lanka on Easter morning;

ACKNOWLEDGES that these events remind us that various forms of religious intolerance, both from individuals and as a result of government action or inaction, continue to pose a significant threat to individuals and to societies across the globe;

DECRIES the well-documented rise of anti-Semitism around the world, for instance the marked increase in anti-Semitic crimes in western and central Europe; the increase in Islamophobia across the world, including violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar; the crackdown on religious freedom in China that has led to the detention of more than a million Uighur Muslims and the persecution of Christians and churches in China; and the significant rise in global Christian persecution as evidenced by continued violence in Nigeria, Cameroon, and India, as well as the recently published report commissioned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which found that approximately 245 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution or worse;

RECALLS that 2019 is the 85th anniversary of the historic resolution passed at the fifth Baptist World Congress in Berlin, Germany, in 1934, against the background of the rise of fascism, which opposed anti- Semitism and all other forms of religious and racial prejudice, stating in part that

BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2 Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

This Congress deplores and condemns as a violation of the law of God the Heavenly Father, all racial animosity, and every form of oppression or unfair discrimination toward the Jews, toward coloured people, or toward subject races in any part of the world.

This Congress urges the promotion of Christian teaching concerning respect for human personality regardless of race or religion, and as the surest means of advancing the true brotherhood of all people, urges the active propagation of the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.

REAFFIRMS that, in the light of the vision of the early Baptist Thomas Helwys who, in 1612, made his famous plea for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to be allowed to worship in freedom and so live at peace together in the same geographical space, we stand in solidarity and sympathy with all people who suffer violence, injury, and harm, regardless of religion, race, gender, culture, or ethnicity; in response to all of the tragedies cited above, we “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15);

ENCOURAGES all Baptists to demonstrate that by living in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), we reaffirm that prejudice, hate, and violence cannot defeat respect, love, and faith; and

CALLS upon the BWA member bodies to offer the hand of sincere friendship to our neighbors of other faiths, as an expression of biblical teaching that all human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and as a prophetic response of God’s love against all manifestations of terrorism, violence, and religious intolerance (Romans 12:21).

BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2 Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Brown, Elijah M., editor. Baptist World Alliance 2019 Yearbook: General Council Minutes and Statistics. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2019.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Elijah M. Brown, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2019 Yearbook: General Council Minutes and Statistics (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2019), pp. 149-150.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2 Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2).

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

Situation in Ukraine

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.

Situation in Ukraine

Christians at Risk of Persecution

BWA General Council Resolution 2014.2

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;

CONDEMNS the kidnapping of more than 200 young girls from the school of the Church of the Brethren in Chibok, Nigeria, by Boko Haram on April 14 of this year, which has been followed by further kidnappings and violence;

AFFIRMS its solidarity in sorrow and grief with fellow Christians in the Christ of the Church of the Brethren, pledging its prayers for the safety and release of the kidnapped students;

COMMENDS to BWA member bodies the use of the prayer resources the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria developed in response to the tragedy, that our prayer in unity with them may give expression to our mutual love in Christ;

CALLS UPON the governments and authorities in the region, including the African Union, to collaborate in the effort to secure the release the girls;

RESTATES its concern over targeted attacks and persecution against Christians as a minority community in North Africa and the Middle East as voiced in BWA Resolution 10 of 2013: “Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa.” Recent attacks include such kidnappings, the recent death penalty imposed in the Sudan on Miriam Ibrahim for her Christian faith; and the plight of some two to three thousand Christians in Eritrea who are currently imprisoned for their faith;

REMEMBERS the example of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna {Izmir) in the second century, who, in the face of persecution, regarded faithfulness to Christ as of more value than life itself;

PRAYS that the Holy Spirit may strengthen vulnerable Christians in faith and hope through the mercies and promises of Christ, the Lord of life eternal;

REAFFIRMS its abhorrence of violence in the name of religion and commends the efforts of all who work for peace between people of different faiths; and

PLEDGES its continued work for religious liberty for all persons regardless of nationality, religion, or status.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2014 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2014.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2014 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2014), pp. 138- 139.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2014.2 Christians at Risk of Persecution; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2014.2).

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