Ukraine (2022.1)

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BWA General Council Resolution 2022.1

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

RECALLS the words and examples of the Old Testament prophets concerned to speak the truth of the word of the Lord into situations of war and conflict, and seeks to follow their example:

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream (Amos5:24).

Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah2:4).

REMEMBERS that the early Baptists were clear that only Jesus is Lord, not any earthly ruler, and often at a cost to themselves were bold and courageous in speaking truth to worldly power where that power had become oppressive and fundamental freedoms were being denied.

CONDEMNS the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine byRussia, beginning on February 24, 2022, and leading to the current devastating war onUkrainian territory.

IS HORRIFIED by the huge loss of life, especially the targeting of civilians, and the destruction of property and infrastructure—including the wanton destruction of undefended houses of worship—that has resulted from indiscriminate Russian attacks on Ukraine’s cities, towns, and countryside.

GRIEVESf or the thousands of soldiers serving in both Russian and Ukrainian military forces who have lost their lives or been injured because of this war.

LAMENTS the human cost in terms of the over 14 million Ukrainian men, women, and children forcibly displaced from their homes, becoming either Internally Displaced Persons or fleeing to other countries.

IS CONCERNED about the ongoing restrictions on freedom of religion or belief occurring inRussian-held territories of Ukraine—as we noted in a resolution on freedom of religion in theLugansk region in eastern Ukraine (BWA General Council Resolution 2018.1).

REJECTS the nationalist ideology in Russia that has led to its aggressive action in Ukraine and its threats to other neighbouring states.

CALLS on the European Union, G7, and other intergovernmental entities to redouble their efforts to support Ukraine.

SUPPORTS all initiatives for a peaceful resolution to this war but believes that it must be a peace with justice and that this must include the restoration of all pre-2014 Ukrainian territory and reparations made for war damage.

AFFIRMS those in Russia, including religious leaders, who have condemned their country’s war in Ukraine as contrary to the values of the gospel.

PRAYS that all who are concerned about truth today will be given the grace to be courageous in standing up for what is right and condemning the suffering and injustice caused by this war and the expansionist nationalist ideology that gave rise to it.

WARMLY COMMENDS the humanitarian and spiritual resources of the All-Ukrainian Union ofAssociations of Evangelical Christian-Baptists, and the Baptist unions and other Christian groups in neighbouring countries for their generous hospitality, humanitarian aid, and spiritual help for refugees, supported by the European Baptist Federation, the Baptist World AllianceForum for Aid and Development, and the generosity of the global Baptist family.

ASSURES the leadership, pastors, and churches of the Baptist union in Ukraine of the continuing solidarity, support in prayer, practical help, and giving of the global Baptist family in all that they are dealing with in this time of war. With them, the global Baptist family, trusting in God’s promises, looks to a time when “war will be no more” and true peace and reconciliation between nations can prevail.

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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.