Human Rights

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BWA General Council Resolution 1997.1

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 3-9, 1997:

RECOGNIZES with gratitude that 1998 will mark the 59th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which has exerted great moral influence in the cause of justice, peace and religious tolerance;

AFFIRMS that efforts in support of human rights depend upon God’s initiative to protect and restore human dignity in a broken world;

LAMENTS that the greatest problem associated with human rights is the lack of full and effective implementation;

OBSERVES with sadness the denial of freedom of expression, religious liberty and other human rights, as well as the existence of child abuse, torture and racism even in countries whose governments are members of the United Nations and are signatories to the Human Rights Covenants;

URGES governments to affirm the universality and inviolability of human rights, and therefore to develop legal systems and practices which conform with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

COMMITS itself to expose and oppose situations involving human rights abuse and denial, and to respond more fully to Jesus’ call to justice, peace and reconciliation;

CALLS UPON the member unions and conventions of the Baptist World Alliance and their local churches to unmask everything that does violence to human dignity and to seek justice for all peoples, especially those who have no voice, no power and no friends.


Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1997 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1997.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1997 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1997), p. 127.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1997.1 Human Rights;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1997.1).

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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