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

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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.


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;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2018.1).

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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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