Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

International Baptists weigh in on unaccompanied minor problem in the USA

Baptist World Alliance Logo

Baptists meeting in the biblical city of Izmir, Turkey, last Friday, passed a resolution expressing concern for accompanied minors entering the United States from Central America “who are victimized by separation from their families, economic exploitation, lack of medical care and education, discrimination, and who are sometimes subjected to a hostile host environment.”

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), which includes leaders from countries across the globe, issued a challenge to churches “to practice hospitality and charity as they regard each minor as a neighbor and child of God.”

Baptist leaders declared “that this is not primarily an issue of unprotected borders, but a humanitarian crisis affecting the countries of origin and all of the United States as the principal receiving country and especially California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.”

The General Council, which convened during the BWA Annual Gathering, held in Izmir from July 6-12, reaffirmed an earlier resolution it passed in 2013 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, which called on “governments of the countries involved to seek together a comprehensive approach to the underlying issues across the region that contribute to this social and human tragedy” of undocumented immigrants.

The 2014 resolution passed in Turkey endorsed an earlier resolution of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission that called on Christians and churches to offer spiritual support and pastoral services for these children.

Texans asked Baptists to create welcoming communities in the various places where these unaccompanied minors are being housed; to communicate with their Latin American networks to inform them of the dangers of the journey and the misinformation involved; and to engage in “prayer for the people of Central America, for the children who are traveling to the United States, and for all those responding to this human tragedy.”

 Baptist World Alliance®
© July 16, 2014

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the 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.