Communication with Eastern European Countries

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BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1969-08.4

(Presented by van der Laan)

1. We the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Baden near Vienna, Austria, August 2-6, 1969 recognize with gratitude to God the presence of delegations from the following Eastern European countries: Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia.

2. We urge our unions to use every available opportunity to have contact with the churches and leaders in these countries and to encourage any open and legitimate means of communication and cooperation.

3. Nevertheless we note with some apprehension the unauthorized use of the name of the Baptist World Alliance and its member-unions by certain in-dividuals who, having visited some of the above-mentioned countries, seek, through their writings and public utterances, to raise money for the causes they represent. We recommend that our constituent unions and their leaders use their discretion and exercise due caution in any response they may be asked to make. [END] [Historian’s Note: See below; action 3 eliminated by subsequent vote.]

Hargroves pointed out that this resolution is in three parts. The presence of representatives from the eastern countries is recognized cooperation is encouraged, and the third part grows out of a special situation. Nordenhaug explained that both his name and that of the Baptist World Alliance had recently been wrongly included in a list of organizations participating in a demonstration. In other ways the BWA name has been used without authorization.

In the discussion that followed, objection was raised to the vagueness of allegations of the third part of the resolution. At the the same time it was felt that it would be unwise to be more specific.

MOTION was made, and carried, that the third part of the resolution be eliminated.

Motion was made by Stassen that there be an added resolution that members be alerted that there have been incidents of the unauthorized use of the name of the BWA and its officers, and that members be on guard against such incidents.

McCall moved, and it was seconded, that this statement be commended for consideration by the Baptist brethren, as it is not suitable for a resolution.


BWA; Czechoslovakia; Eastern Europe; German Democratic Republic; Hungary; Poland; Romania; U.S.S.R.; Yugoslavia.


Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Baden Bei Wien, Austria August 2-6, 1969. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1969.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Baden Bei Wien, Austria August 2-6, 1969 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1969), pp. 57-58.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1969-08.4 Communication with Eastern European Countries;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1969-08.4).

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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.