Resolution on Preserving the Primacy of Family in Immigration

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BWA General Council Resolution 2018.3

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, July 2-6, 2018:

RECOGNIZES that the human desire to preserve and protect one’s family from violence, disease, economic depravity, and other threatening conditions is universal and drives millions of people to leave their homelands seeking better lives for themselves and their family members;

AFFIRMS the clear biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and for followers of Jesus to respond with love and justice to the plight of immigrants, migrants, and refugees (Micah 6:8; Matt. 22:34- 40, 25:35, 40; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:1-3.);

ASSERTS our belief that God created the family as the primary social unit, and that families are integral to a healthy society;

REAFFIRMS our past resolutions noting our position on the rights and dignity of immigrants, migrants, and refugees, including those adopted in 2013, 2016, and 2017;

LAMENTS recent actions by the U.S. government that separated more than 2,000 migrant children from the parents, many of whom remain in detention even as their parents have already been deported;

REJECTS claims by some U.S. government officials that the Bible justifies a policy of forced separation of families, and urges the U.S. government to work toward reuniting each family and prevent such separations in the future;

CALLS upon individuals, churches, and religious organizations to be involved in immigration issues supporting the primacy of family solidarity;

ENCOURAGES all Baptists to prophetically challenge immoral policies that seek to undermine the rights and dignity of immigrants, migrants, and refugees; and

URGES all governments to follow international law regarding the proper treatment of immigrants, migrants, and refugees, and to uphold the primacy of the family unit.


Original Source Bibliography: Brown, Elijah M., editor. Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Elijah M. Brown, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2018 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2018), p. 151.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2018.3 Resolution on Preserving the Primacy of Family in Immigration;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2018.3).

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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