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

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