On Religious Liberty

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BWA General Council Resolution 2003.4

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 7-12, 2003:

RECOGNIZES that every human being is of intrinsic worth, being created in the image of God and possessing the possibility of fellowship with the God of the universe;

AFFIRMS that one of the basic rights of each human being is the right to worship openly and freely according to the dictates of one’s own heart;

REGRETS that this basic right is denied in many countries and areas of the world where governmental authorities, entrenched religious hierarchies, mob rule and other forces persecute individuals who seek to exercise their basic rights;

ACKNOWLEDGES that religious freedom is not merely the right to continue to worship in the faith in which one was born but also the right to examine fully the convictions and beliefs of others, and to worship, believe and to proclaim their convictions;

ENCOURAGES the churches of the Baptist World Alliance who enjoy religious freedom to stand with the churches of countries where religious freedom is denied or limited and support them by constant prayers and by calling the attention of their governments and the international community to the plight of persecuted churches;

CALLS for all peoples to recognize these basic rights of all human beings and allow their full expression in each and every society.


Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2003 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2003.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2003 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2003), p. 89.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2003.4 On Religious Liberty; https://baptistworld.org/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2003.4).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance Resolutions, visit BaptistWorld.org/resolutions.

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.