Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular

Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular

BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.2

The Baptist World Congress, meeting in Los Angeles, CA, July 2-7, 1985, declares its belief that racism and the Christian Gospel are incompatible. We ground this conviction biblically in the doctrine of creation whereby every human person is given dignity as made in the image of God (Genesis 1 :27) and in the doctrine of redemption whereby we proclaim salvation in Christ, crucified and risen, for people of all races and colors (Colossians 3:11), and the external purpose of God to unite all creation in him (Ephesians 1 and 2).

We therefore declare racism, wherever it is found, to be a crime against humanity and a sin against God.

We call upon Baptists everywhere to renounce racial discrimination and racist attitudes which may be openly or subconsciously expressed, and to show their solidarity with all victims of racism by speaking, working and praying for its removal from society.

In particular, we openly denounce the whole system of apartheid as practiced by the South African government. We note that the 1985 Assembly of the Baptist Union of South Africa welcomed the positive attempts which the Government has made to alleviate some of the injustices within their country; for example, the inclusion of Coloreds and Indians in the process of government and the repeal of the Mixed Marriages Act and certain sections of the Immorality Act.

We believe that the system of apartheid remains firmly entrenched inasmuch as 316 apartheid laws still exist. These include:

(a) forcible relocation of black populations and destruction of their homes by bulldozing; (b) prevention of black employees and their families from living near their places of work; (c) lack of freedom for black people to seek employment wherever they can find it;
(d) humiliating discrimination in many public places with rigid pass-laws;

(e) arbitrary arrest and detention indefinitely without trial; (f) Disenfranchisement of the black majority.

We believe it is our duty in the name of God to denounce this system and all who practice or support it. We wish to make this known to all who suffer and struggle for a reconciled and free South Africa.

We urge Baptists everywhere to call upon their Government to stand firmly against all forms of support for South Africa as long as apartheid remains on the statute book.

And finally, we pledge our prayers for our Christian brothers and sisters of many denominations in South Africa who faithfully proclaim the gospel of redeeming love and in the light of it, consistently oppose apartheid at great personal cost.

Citations

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. 218-219.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.2 Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1985.2).

Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular

Resolution on Race Relations

BWA World Congress Resolution 1950.4

of the Commission on Social Justice and Human Rights

WHEREAS, The Baptist World Alliance in 1934, 1939 and 1947 condemned racial discrimination;

WHEREAS, The question of race relations is world-wide in scope and is one of the most serious and baffling problems confronting mankind today;

WHEREAS, This problem manifests itself in several unchristian ways such as discrimination against Jews in many lands, the Apartheid Movement in South Africa, the discrimination against orientals and Mexicans in some areas, and the segregation by law of Negroes in the United States;

WHEREAS, We believe that racial and cultural exploitation of one group by another leads to international conflict;

WHEREAS, Discrimination, based on religion, culture, color and race provides fertile soil for the development and spread of communism, fascism and other antisocial programs;

WHEREAS, We Baptists ourselves are not free from prejudice and discriminatory practices against racial and cultural groups in our worship and communities;

WHEREAS, We believe that discrimination and segregation based on religion, race, color and culture are ethically and morally indefensible and contrary to the gospel of Christ and the principle of freedom for which Baptists stand;

The Baptist World Alliance, a World Fellowship of Baptists, therefore:

(1) Urge our Baptist churches to examine their interracial practices and policies with a view to removing from their worship and fellowship all forms of segregation and discrimination based on race, color or culture;

(2) Urge that the Baptists of the world use their influence to have discriminatory laws repealed wherever they appear in their respective countries;

(3) Urge that Baptists everywhere seek where necessary the enactment of laws designed to safeguard the rights of oppressed racial groups;

(4) Urge that each individual Baptist throughout the world sincerely and prayerfully search his own soul with a view to freeing himself from racial and cultural prejudice and embodying in his own person the mind and spirit of Christ in all human relations—in work, business, education, government, politics, recreation, social life and religion.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Ohrn, Arnold T, editor. Eighth Baptist World Congress, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., July 22-27, 1950. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1951.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Arnold T. Ohrn, ed., Eighth Baptist World Congress, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., July 22-27, 1950 (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1951), pp. 340-341.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1950.4 Resolution on Race Relations; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1950.4).

Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular

Racialism

BWA World Congress Resolution 1939.5

The Sixth Baptist World Congress, assembled in Atlanta, Ga., is constrained to express the judgment of Baptist people in general on the question of race relationship. The members rejoice that the preparations for the present Congress have been carried through by a joint committee of the races, and in perfect harmony.

The Congress finds that the strong and unwavering convictions which govern the attitude and policy of the Baptist World Alliance are clearly and adequately expressed in the Resolution adopted by the Fifth World Congress, which met in Berlin in 1934. It therefore solemnly reaffirms what was then stated in the following terms:

“This Congress representing the world-wide, inter-racial fellowship of Baptists, rejoices to know that despite all differences of race, there is in Christ an all-embracing unity, so that in Him it can be claimed with deepest truth there is ‘neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all in all.’

“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, 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.”

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: J. H. Rushbrooke, J. H., editor. Sixth Baptist World Congress Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., July 22-28, 1939. Atlanta: The Baptist World Alliance, 1939.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: J. H. Rushbrooke, ed., Sixth Baptist World Congress Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., July 22-28, 1939 (Atlanta: The Baptist World Alliance, 1939), p. 15.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1939.5 Racialism; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1939.5).

Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular

Racialism

BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.7

163. Professor A.T. Ohrn, Norway, moved the following Resolution on “Racialism”

“This Congress representing the world-wide, inter-racial fellowship of Baptists, rejoices to know that despite all differences of race, there is in Christ an all-embracing unity, so that in Him it can be claimed with deepest truth there is ‘neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all in all.’

“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, 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.”

164. The Rev. C.E. Wilson, B.A., of England, seconded the Resolution. 165. The Resolution was carried unanimously.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Rushbrooke, J. H., editor. Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4- 10, 1934. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: J. H. Rushbrooke, ed., Fifth Baptist World Congress: Berlin, August 4-10, 1934 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1934), p. 17.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.7 Racialism; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1934.7).

Racism in General and Apartheid in Particular

Thanks to Swedish Baptists

BWA World Congress Resolution 1923.9

151. The following resolution of Executive was brought up by Rev. Clifton D. Gray, PH.D., LL.D„ American Secretary-elect, seconded by President E. Y. Mullins, and carried by a standing vote:—

“Deeply appreciating the painstaking efforts of our Swedish brethren in the long work of preparation for this the third session of the Baptist World Alliance, and mindful especially of the faithful services of love rendered by Dr. C. E. Benander, Dr. J. Bystrom, the Rev. K. A. Modén, and others, who for many months have worked so untiringly for its success, we count it a distinct pleasure to register our cordial thanks. We are sure that nothing has been lacking in the preparations, and that no pains have been spared to ensure the comfort and welfare of the hundreds of delegates in attendance.

“We desire also to record our sincere appreciation of the attention given our sessions by the daily press of Stockholm, and of the marked courtesies shown us by the people of this city.

“We feel that this session of the Congress has been successful in every respect, and are confident that our Baptist work throughout the world is placed on a much surer footing by reason of our coming together.”

Appreciation was also expressed of the courtesy of the police, of the hospitality in private homes, and of the entertainment of the coloured brethren.

The three Swedes named were called to the front, and Dr. Bystrom acknowledged the recognition.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Whitley, W. T., editor. Third Baptist World Congress: Stockholm, July 21- 27, 1923. London: Kingsgate Press, 1923.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: W. T. Whitley, ed., Third Baptist World Congress: Stockholm, July 21-27, 1923 (London: Kingsgate Press, 1923), p. xxxii.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1923.9 Thanks to Swedish Baptists; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1923.9).