Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council, meeting in Nassau, Bahamas, July 7-12, 2019:

EXPRESSES its deep concern over recent instances of religious intolerance and religiously- motivated violence around the world since its last meeting in 2018, including but not limited to: the attacks against synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; and Poway, California, USA; attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand against two mosques; and the deaths and injuries to hundreds of Christians during a coordinated set of bombings throughout Sri Lanka on Easter morning;

ACKNOWLEDGES that these events remind us that various forms of religious intolerance, both from individuals and as a result of government action or inaction, continue to pose a significant threat to individuals and to societies across the globe;

DECRIES the well-documented rise of anti-Semitism around the world, for instance the marked increase in anti-Semitic crimes in western and central Europe; the increase in Islamophobia across the world, including violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar; the crackdown on religious freedom in China that has led to the detention of more than a million Uighur Muslims and the persecution of Christians and churches in China; and the significant rise in global Christian persecution as evidenced by continued violence in Nigeria, Cameroon, and India, as well as the recently published report commissioned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which found that approximately 245 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution or worse;

RECALLS that 2019 is the 85th anniversary of the historic resolution passed at the fifth Baptist World Congress in Berlin, Germany, in 1934, against the background of the rise of fascism, which opposed anti- Semitism and all other forms of religious and racial prejudice, stating in part that

BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2 Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

This Congress deplores and condemns as a violation of the law of God the Heavenly Father, all racial animosity, and every form of oppression or unfair discrimination toward the Jews, toward coloured people, or toward subject races in any part of the world.

This Congress urges the promotion of Christian teaching concerning respect for human personality regardless of race or religion, and as the surest means of advancing the true brotherhood of all people, urges the active propagation of the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.

REAFFIRMS that, in the light of the vision of the early Baptist Thomas Helwys who, in 1612, made his famous plea for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to be allowed to worship in freedom and so live at peace together in the same geographical space, we stand in solidarity and sympathy with all people who suffer violence, injury, and harm, regardless of religion, race, gender, culture, or ethnicity; in response to all of the tragedies cited above, we “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15);

ENCOURAGES all Baptists to demonstrate that by living in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), we reaffirm that prejudice, hate, and violence cannot defeat respect, love, and faith; and

CALLS upon the BWA member bodies to offer the hand of sincere friendship to our neighbors of other faiths, as an expression of biblical teaching that all human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and as a prophetic response of God’s love against all manifestations of terrorism, violence, and religious intolerance (Romans 12:21).

BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2 Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Brown, Elijah M., editor. Baptist World Alliance 2019 Yearbook: General Council Minutes and Statistics. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2019.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Elijah M. Brown, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2019 Yearbook: General Council Minutes and Statistics (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2019), pp. 149-150.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2 Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2019.2).

Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Religious Persecution

BWA World Congress Resolution 1990.3

The world has recently experienced the blessing of the destruction of walls and divisive restrictions which have separated nations and families.

The blessing of freedom and the opportunity of achieving potentials of both individuals and groups has been experienced by a large numbers of persons and nations.

Movements fostering even greater opportunities for many seem to be developing in growing areas and societal environments.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED by the Baptist World Congress, meeting in Seoul Korea, August 13- 18, 1990, that we express our gratitude to God for these developments and their enlarging opportunities that we call upon all persons and governments to acknowledge the equal value of human beings and seek to open the opportunities of freedom to those who do not year experience these, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we express opposition to intolerance and persecution wherever these may arise. We particularly decry the use of religion to justify intolerance and persecution; and further we are appalled that anti-Semitic practices and slogans have again surfaced. We therefore declare our opposition to all forms of religious intolerance and persecution.

Keywords

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Ryan, Wendy E., editor. Together in Christ: Official Report of the Sixteenth Congress, Seoul, Korea, August 14-19, 1990. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1990.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Wendy E. Ryan, ed., Together in Christ: Official Report of the Sixteenth Congress, Seoul, Korea, August 14-19, 1990 (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1990), p. 160.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1990.3 Religious Persecution; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1990.3).

Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Resolution on Race Relations

BWA World Congress Resolution 1960.1

The Baptist World Congress of 1934 declared that there is in Christ an all-embracing unity, so that in Him there is “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all,” and He condemned every form of oppression or unfair discrimination toward the Jews, toward colored people, or toward subject races.

At this Baptist World Congress in 1960, we reaffirm the conviction stated in that resolution. We express our gratitude to God for the measure of progress which has been made in the improvement of race relations. Nevertheless, we recognize that in some parts of the world much still remains to be done, and the situation is grave.

We call, therefore, upon our Baptist people around the world to live above race prejudice and to take the lead in abolishing racial discrimination and removing the indignities of racial segregation and the caste system wherever these still exist.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Ohrn, Arnold T, editor. Tenth Baptist World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 26-July 3, 1960. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1961.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Arnold T. Ohrn, ed., Tenth Baptist World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 26-July 3, 1960 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966), p. 300.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1960.1 Resolution on Race Relations; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1960.1).

Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Resolution on Race Relations

BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.2

Whereas the Baptist World Alliance in 1934, 1939, 1947 and 1950 has already declared itself unalterably opposed to racial discrimination in every form; and

Whereas, in this Congress of the Baptist World Alliance representatives have gathered from more than sixty countries representing many nationalities and races;

We rejoice that here we have a manifestation of brotherhood in Christ which breaks across lines of race and class.

Nevertheless, we deplore the fact that in many of the lands from which we come, men and women still suffer disabilities because of race.

Further, we once again urge our churches everywhere to do all in their power not only within their fellowship, but in their wider communities and in the world to make real the highest Christian meaning of human brotherhood.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Ohrn, Arnold T, editor. Golden Jubilee Congress (Ninth World Congress), London, England, July 16-22, 1955. London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1956.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Arnold T. Ohrn, ed., Golden Jubilee Congress (Ninth World Congress), London, England, July 16-22, 1955 (London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1956), p. 370.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.2 Resolution on Race Relations; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.2).

Resolution on Current Manifestations of Religious Intolerance and Religiously-Motivated Violence

Resolution concerning the Jews

BWA World Congress Resolution 1947.3

“Aware of the unprecedented suffering through which the people of Israel have passed during recent years, millions of them being exterminated by the most inhuman means; aware also that these sufferings are not yet at an end, but that hundreds of thousands are still in concentration camps or wandering homeless from land to land; aware, further, that the poisonous propaganda and destructive designs of anti- Semitism are still at work in many lands: this Congress puts on record its sense of sorrow and shame that such conditions prevail.

It calls, first, upon Baptists throughout the world to manifest the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Himself a Child of Israel, and to do everything in their power to alleviate the sufferings of the Jews.

It calls, secondly, upon the nations of the world to open doors to the homeless and oppressed refugees, since there can be no abiding peace while this problem remains unsolved.

It calls, thirdly, upon Jewry everywhere to refrain from provocative acts and to restrain those among them who would resort to violence.

Further, this Congress would not be true to its convictions if it did not state its belief that the command of Jesus Christ to evangelise the world was intended to include the people of Israel.

The Congress, therefore, calls upon all Baptists to do their part in supporting missionary work among the Jews. We believe that only when Christ is accepted as Lord will the Jews or any other people find salvation, peace, and freedom.”

This resolution, proposed by Dr. Jacob Gartenhaus, was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lewis, Walter O., editor. Seventh Baptist World Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 29-August 3, 1947. London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1948.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Walter O. Lewis, ed., Seventh Baptist World Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 29-August 3, 1947 (London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1948), p. 99.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1947.3 Resolution concerning the Jews; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1947.3).