Restorative Racial Justice & Flourishing Freedom (2022.3)

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BWA General Council Resolution 2022.3

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, July 10-15, 2022:

ACKNOWLEDGES that since our last in-person gathering, a season of racial hostilities globally demands a renewed commitment to the enduring principles of racial justice and human freedom, based on the fundamental theological conviction that all people are created in God’s image and thus deserve to be treated with respect and justice and enjoy flourishing freedom.

RECALLS that since 1905 the BWA has spoken up for human rights and freedom and against manifestations of racially or religiously inspired injustice by adopting over 60 resolutions or statements.

REJECTS all forms of racism as a sin against humanity and God.

RECOGNIZES that the effects of racism today cannot be captured only as a black and white phenomenon. There are countless examples of racial prejudice on every continent, including the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and their land.

RECOGNIZES that restorative racial justice requires individual and corporate repentance, lament, and recognition of wrongs done and suffering imposed on oppressed people.Structural and systemic changes are necessary to eliminate disparities to ensure equitable access to opportunities and racial equity.

AFFIRMS that restorative justice involves intentional actions to repair and restore human relations with God and one another, as a foreshadow of the flourishing freedom found in theKingdom of God.

URGES member bodies and ministries to identify ways to lament, repent, reconcile, and transform individuals and structures, speak out against all forms of prejudice, and engage in theological reflection, dialogue, and advocacy concerning restorative racial justice.

ENCOURAGES Baptist conventions, unions, mission agencies, churches, and agencies to refrain from participating in racially oppressive systems, and to exercise their prophetic responsibility.

RECOMMENDS all Baptists studyThe Birmingham Statement on Restorative Racial Justice: A Call to Live in Flourishing Freedom adopted by the BWA Executive Committee just prior to this meeting.

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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.