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 Violations of Religious Freedom in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region

BWA General Council Resolution 2016.2

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 6-8, 2016:

RENEWS its concern about the continuing humanitarian crisis in Nigeria previously addressed by a BWA resolution in 2012;

LAMENTS the deteriorating situation in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region that has been called “the world’s most neglected humanitarian crisis;”

UNDERSTANDS that the violence, murder, and kidnapping has directly impacted more than 14 million people with between three and five million being internally displaced, resulting in rampant malnutrition, leaving thousands of persons on the verge of starvation;

RECOGNIZES that people of faith and houses of worship have been intentionally targeted, including the damage or destruction of thousands of churches and numerous mosques; the devastation of primarily Christian Local Government Areas by Fulani militants in the Middle Belt; the deliberate efforts of Boko Haram to kill and displace those who do not adhere to their particular ideology; as well as vigilante groups who engage in reprisal attacks;

APPRECIATES that President Buhari of Nigeria and his administration have significantly worked to address these complex realities;

STANDS at this critical juncture with the Nigerian Baptist Convention, other Christian believers and people of goodwill across the region and especially all those who are suffering;

CALLS upon the United Nations to designate Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region as a “most severe large scale humanitarian crisis” (Level 3); and

URGES all Baptists to stand in solidarity with Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region, to pray for the development of transformative peace throughout the country and region, and to actively work to build a context of justice, human rights, rule of law, and religious freedom for all people.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2016 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2016.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2016 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2016), p. 141.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2016.2 Resolution on Violations of Religious Freedom in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2016.2).

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 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.