Fundamental Freedoms

Fundamental Freedoms

BWA General Council Resolution 1982.3

Ever since the Baptist World Congress in Atlanta in 1939 the Baptist World Alliance has spoken out with regularity on behalf of religious freedom for all persons, and in more recent years on behalf of civil liberties generally.

Therefore we welcome the proclamation by the United Nations in November 1981 of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief. We urge the United Nations to proceed with the drafting of a covenant, to be offered to the nations for signature and ratification, which would translate the declaration into law. We ask our member bodies to encourage the irrespective governments to participate in such a treaty-making process.

We take note with regret that the existing International Covenants on Human Rights (and optional protocol) have not obtained the support of all nations. We also note that there are international conventions on specific aspects of human rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and that these conventions have been adhered to by all the apportioned organizations here represented. We ask our member bodies to review such covenants and conventions with a view to encouraging the non-ratifying governments to signify their adherence thereto.

We proclaim once more that the God who gave us life called us to liberty. We are committed to the teaching of the New Testament concerning the importance of freedom as well as its source (John 8:36; Galatians 5).

Meeting as we are on the Continent of Africa, we are acutely conscious of the need for further progress toward the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, particularly where governments restrict the fundamental freedom of one or more races within their jurisdiction. We appeal to all governments to promptly abolish restrictions of a racial nature including the evil called apartheid and those which restrict freedom of expression freedom of association and freedom of movement.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1982 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1982.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1982 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1982), p. 70.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1982.3 Fundamental Freedoms; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1982.3).

Fundamental Freedoms

South Africa

BWA General Council Resolution 1986.10

The BWA General Council, meeting in Singapore, July 1986:

  1. reaffirms the 1985 Congress resolution concerning South Africa and is convinced that the apartheid system is an affront to the Christian understanding of life and must be declared a sin against God, for Christians, a heresy;
  2. expresses its abhorrence at the imposition of a State of Emergency and pleads for the sake of justice and peace that it be terminated immediately;
  3. expresses its solidarity with the leaders and others in that country who are struggling for a just social order through a multi-racial government based on majority rule, and especially with those who are suffering in that struggle;
  4. calls for the unconditional release of Nelson Mandela, the recognition of the African National Congress as a negotiating body, the return of political exiles and the imposition of economic sanctions;
  5. commends the Baptist Union of South Africa for sending a memorandum to the State President and seeking a meeting with him, and encourages it in its further struggle against apartheid;
  6. finally notes that the BWA Human Rights Commission commends for further study and other action the booklet “Challenge to the Church”, the Kairos Document published by a group of 150 South African theologians.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1986 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1986.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1986 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1986), p. 54.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1986.10 South Africa; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1986.10).

Fundamental Freedoms

South Africa

BWA General Council Resolution 1988.4

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Nassau, the Bahamas, July 1988:

Reaffirms its resolution dealing with apartheid adopted at its meeting in Los Angeles in 1985, and

Urges the Baptist Union and the Baptist Convention of Southern Africa to challenge the evil of apartheid by their own example of reconciliation and full equality within their own churches and the extended Christian family as well as their society.

Further, this Council urges all member bodies to:

Condemn the actions of the South African government in banning 18 humanitarian anti-apartheid organizations; detaining persons, especially children, arresting church leaders in Cape Town, and water-hosing a peaceful procession of Christian witnesses;

Deplore the intention of the South African government to legislate to prevent foreign funding of peaceful and humanitarian agencies at work in South Africa; and

Support the continuing representation being made to appropriate governments, urging them to reappraise economic policy towards South Africa and to condemn the South African government’s persistent attempts to discredit and silence the opposition of South African churches and Christian leaders.

And, further this General Council:

Requests its general secretary to convey the import of this resolution to the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, the Baptist Convention of Southern Africa and the South Africa Council of Churches to offer encouragement to these bodies in their striving for peace in their country, and

Recognizes the impact the suffering of the multicolored Baptist family in South Africa has on the worldwide body of Christ and therefore accepts responsibility to engage in every possible way in the process of establishing justice and equality within their troubled part of the world and, furthermore, urges Baptists everywhere to pray unceasingly for healing and reconciliation.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1988 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1988.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1988 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1988), p. 71.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1988.4 South Africa; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1988.4).

Fundamental Freedoms

South Africa

BWA General Council Resolution 1991.4

RECALLING the prophetic stance taken by the Baptist World Alliance in its resolutions on South Africa at the World Congress in 1985 and at the General Council in 1986 and 1988,

REAFFIRMING its opposition to apartheid as a sin against the Gospel of God’s love for all people,

NOTING some encouraging political and legal developments in South Africa in the past eighteen months,

RECOGNIZING the danger that the recent announcement of the further removal of international sanctions in the economic, cultural and sporting areas may blind us to the continuing and deeply entrenched effects of apartheid,

THEREFORE the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montreal, Canada, July 10- 13, 1991, RESOLVES in solidarity with Baptists and other South Africans who are suffering for their Christian witness, to call upon Baptists worldwide to press for continuing substantial and peaceful change and the attainment of full human rights for all people of South Africa.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1991 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1991.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1991 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1991), pp. 37-38.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1991.4 South Africa; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1991.4).

Fundamental Freedoms

South Africa

BWA General Council Resolution 1993.8

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe August 6-9, 1993,

SENDS greetings to our sisters and brothers in the Baptist and wider Christian community in South Africa;

APPLAUDS the decision to hold multi-racial elections with universal adult suffrage in 1994;

ABHORS the escalation of violence since the announcement of the decision, noting that more than 899 have died in killings and massacres including some 200 since 30 July;

ACKNOWLEDGES that many people of good will are working with determination towards the creation of a just and peaceful society with equal opportunities for all South Africans;

ENDORSES the call for the creation of an internal peacekeeping force under the command of non-South African security personnel to prevent any sinister force seeking to subvert the negotiations;

AFFIRMS the establishment of education for democracy programs among the peoples of South Africa, encouraging member bodies and their mission agencies to consider ways of supporting such programs in partnership with the Baptist Convention of South Africa and the Baptist Union of Southern Africa; ands

URGES Baptists throughout the world to participate in appropriate external monitoring programs.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1993-1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1993.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1993-1994 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1993), p. 114.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1993.8 South Africa; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1993.8).