Church Burning in the U.S.A.

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BWA General Council Resolution 1996.2

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Hong Kong, July 3-9, 1996:

NOTES with profound concern the continuing incidents of church burning, numbering in excess of 40 within the past 18 months in the United States of America, involving congregations with African– American membership; and

DEPLORES the racism which appears to be motivating these burnings as well as the damage to community relationships and fear and uncertainty resulting from these events; and

CONSIDERS such acts to be attacks not simply upon buildings but upon the worshiping and witnessing community which risks crippling one of society’s most effective institutions for mediation and conciliation; and

REGRETS that some insurance companies are reported to have prematurely canceled coverage on such buildings; and

APPLAUDS the support provided to the affected congregations by sister churches in the United States and other nations, and

WELCOMES positive actions by government agencies and leaders in response to these burnings; and PLEDGES the prayerful support and solidarity of its member bodies to affected congregations, and

ENCOURAGES Baptist churches everywhere to commit themselves to work together as agents of healing and reconciliation to counteract the evils of racism in any form.


Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1996 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1996.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1996 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1996), pp. 101-102.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1996.2 Church Burning in the U.S.A.;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1996.2).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit

Since its formation in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the global Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.

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