Religious Freedom and Human Rights

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BWA World Congress Resolution 1980.2

Believing in the inherent right of all people to freedom of religious faith, practice, and propagation;

We call on all governments of the world to grant religious freedom to all peoples in their countries and urge the cessation of all discrimination against those who practice or advocate other religions than those ap- proved and accepted in their countries.

We further the creation of confidence among all nations which are signatories of the Helsinki Act and encourage the implementation of every article of the Helsinki document and subsequent agreements, including those which deal with the human rights and basic freedoms of all peoples within their territories.

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

Special consideration, care, and dignity should be given to those within our world family who are disabled in any way. We reject inhumane condi-tions in places of confinement, such as nursing homes, prisons, and institu-tions for the mentally disturbed.

Inasmuch as exploitation, injustice, hatred, and discrimination are a plague in every land and divisive to our sense of world family, we reaffirm our oftstated insistence upon respect for all persons regardless of racial or ethnic heritage.

We regret that during the Congress there was an unnecessary protest which does not reflect the love and reconciliation we expect of fellow Bap-tists even in disagreement, and we would like to affirm our desire to relate to all Christians everywhere in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.


Original Source Bibliography: Bryant, Cyril E. and Burke, Ruby J., editors. Celebrating Christ’s Presence Through the Spirit: Official Report of the Fourteenth Congress, Toronto, Canada, July 8-13, 1980. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Cyril E. Bryant and Ruby J. Burke, eds., Celebrating Christ’s Presence Through the Spirit: Official Report of the Fourteenth Congress, Toronto, Canada, July 8-13, 1980 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981), pp. 241-242.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1980.2 Religious Freedom and Human Rights;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1980.2).

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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.