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BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.4

This Congress receives with sadness the news of the appeal from the Board of Directors of the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua in a pastoral letter dated May 10, 1985 (and addressed to the American Baptist Churches of the USA, the Southern Baptist Convention of the USA, the World Council of Churches, the Latin American Council of Churches and Christian brothers and sisters of Nicaragua and the rest of the world).

We note the details of appalling suffering caused through the civil war between the Contra guerilla forces and the Sandinista government. Details reported include the following:

(a) 6,500 children orphaned and 150 children murdered;
(b) 180,000 peasants and indigenous people displaced;
(c) 900 adult educational centers closed and 250 participants killed;
(d) 17 schools destroyed, 360 closed, 170 teachers murdered and 180 kidnapped; (e) 11 child centers closed;
(f) 150 agricultural cooperatives destroyed.

We express our deep concern that Central America has become a major focus of East/West tension, and we urge all the powers concerned to draw back from this dangerous confrontation by discontinuing the arms build-up and the economic blockade.

We believe that these can only add to the suffering already experienced by the people of Nicaragua. It will, as the Board of Directors indicated, mean death and disease through lack of essential medical supplies and equipment and increasing poverty and hunger through the breakdown of the nation’s agriculture, industry and commerce. And it could lead to full scale war.

BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.4

As Christians we cannot stand back and be indifferent to the appeal of our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua. We note the receipt of a further appeal from the students of the Baptist Theological Seminary in Nicaragua, dated May 15, 1985, urging the need for the prophetic and evangelistic voices of Christian people to be heard, with a message of hope and compassion.

We therefore call upon Baptists worldwide to pray for the people of Nicaragua, to send letters of compassionate concern to the Baptist Convention of Nicaragua and to use whatever means are most appropriate in their country to press for Government and United Nations help in reducing the tension and bringing an end to the conflict and blockade.

We also urge the Officers and Divisions of the Baptist World Alliance, and especially Baptist World Aid, to take positive steps to respond to the appeals we have received.


Original Source Bibliography: Kerstan, Reinhold J. And Burke, Ruby J., editors. Out of the Darkness Into the Light: Official Report of the Fifteenth Congress, Los Angeles, California, USA, July 2-7, 1985. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1985.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Reinhold J. Kerstan and Ruby J. Burke, eds., Out of the Darkness Into the Light: Official Report of the Fifteenth Congress, Los Angeles, California, USA, July 2-7, 1985 (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1985), pp. 219-220.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.4 Nicaragua;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.4).

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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.