Religious Liberty

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BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.5

Gathered in Los Angeles for the 15th Baptist World Congress in July 1985, we who represent Baptists from about 100 countries, wish to reaffirm our adherence to the cherished principle of religious liberty.

We see it being threatened today by religious persecution in many parts of the world.

We note with sorrow that there have been more Christian martyrs in this century than in any previous one; that many fellow believers face severe restrictions and harassment which prevent freedom of worship and witness; that some endure long, harsh imprisonment, exile and torture for their faith.

We are convinced that this denies to many people the basic human right of religious liberty, and that the time is ripe once again to speak out against it in this year which marks the 10th anniversary of the Helsinki Agreement.

Rejoicing in “the glorious liberty of the children of God,” we urge all Baptists to become more informed about the circumstances of other believers and then to pray, speak and act in every way possible for the support and encouragement of the many thousands of Christians called upon to suffer to their faith in these days.


Original Source Bibliography: Kerstan, Reinhold J. And Burke, Ruby J., editors. Out of the Darkness Into the Light: Official Report of the Fifteenth Congress, Los Angeles, California, USA, July 2-7, 1985. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1985.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Reinhold J. Kerstan and Ruby J. Burke, eds., Out of the Darkness Into the Light: Official Report of the Fifteenth Congress, Los Angeles, California, USA, July 2-7, 1985 (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1985), pp. 220-221.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.5 Religious Liberty;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.5).

For more information about Baptist World Alliance resolutions, visit

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.

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