Economic Justice

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BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.4

The Twelfth Baptist World Congress, meeting in Tokyo, Japan, during July 12-18, 1970, notes with deep concern the continuing and increasing lack of economic self-sufficiency suffered by the majority of the inhabitants of the world, particularly those who are citi-zens of the developing countries.

Notwithstanding the vast technological advances which have brought an environment of abundance to one-third of the human race, the other two-thirds—more than two thousand million individuals—are still suppressed by the limitations created by past failures and present circumstances. Consequently they have not been able to make the transition to self-sustaining economic growth. Life for them is held in the confines of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy, and disease.

The gap between the richer and poorer countries is already a chasm which widens with compounded acceleration. While Western countries enjoy per capita incomes rising to the $3,500 range, their fellows in the developing countries struggle for survival on per capita incomes of less than $100.

Most of mankind, denied sufficient food, clothing, education, shelter, and medical care, is unable to sustain basic human dignity or find opportunities for self-fulfillment. The population explosion adds to the dimensions of this human tragedy for each successive generation.

This Congress affirms that the Christian gospel is the declaration of the Divine purpose and provision for man in the totality of his being as expressed in our Lord’s manifesto recorded in part in Luke 4:18 (RSV): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. . .”

It calls upon the wealthy nations of the world to give priority to the interests of all humanity, to increase aid in all practical forms to the developing countries, and to set as a minimum objective to be attained with all possible haste the provision of such aid to the level of at least one percent of the gross national product from each.

This Congress calls upon all Baptists, according to their abilities and opportunities, to further the program of economic justice both by their influence as citizens and by their support of Baptist World

BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.4

Relief and the work of other worthy voluntary agencies providing economic aid and development services.


Original Source Bibliography: Bryant, Cyril E., editor. Reconciliation Through Christ: Official Report of the Twelfth Congress, Tokyo, Japan, July 12-18, 1970. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1971.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Cyril E. Bryant, ed., Reconciliation Through Christ: Official Report of the Twelfth Congress, Tokyo, Japan, July 12-18, 1970 (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1971), pp. 253-254.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.4 Economic Justice;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress 1970.4).

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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.