Religious Freedom and Human Rights

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BWA General Council Resolution 1979.4

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, believing in the inherent right of all people to freedom of religious faith, practice, and propagation, and recognizing the rights of governments to require that such freedom shall be exercised responsibly, wishes once again to express its deep concern over present attitudes in many countries with respect to religious believers, involving in some cases, strong legislation against them.

We call on all governments of our world to grant religious freedom with respect to belief, practice and propagation, to all peoples in their countries, and urge the cessation of all discrimination against those who practice or advocate other religions than those approved or accepted in their countries.

We further express our conviction that all nations which are signatories of the Helsinki Act should honor and implement every article of the Helsinki document, including those which deal with human rights and basic freedoms of all people within their territories.

We would also urge our Baptist people to act responsibly as Christian citizens and with respect to the rights of the fellow human beings within their countries.


After its first presentation, the resolution was referred back to the Committee for revisions and reconsideration by the General Council the following day. This was done, in the absence of Chairman Akande, by David Russell.

MOTION by Russell was seconded. The resolution on Religious Freedom and Human Rights was passed after discussion and amendment.


Original Source Bibliography: Denny, Robert S., editor. Baptist World Alliance 1979 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1979.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Robert S. Denny, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1979 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1979), pp. 52- 53.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1979.4 Religious Freedom and Human Rights;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1979.4).

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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.