World Peace and Reconciliation

World Peace and Reconciliation

BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.1

We, the representatives of the Baptist World Alliance, assembled in Tokyo, Japan, in July, 1970:

Reaffirm the deep devotion of Baptists to peace and reconciliation for all humanity on this earth under God;

Restate our realization of the devastation and horrors and suffering of war and of the catastrophic threat of nuclear war in this space age;

Rededicate ourselves, in our individual lives, and in our association together as churches and conventions, to endeavor to carry out the biblical injunction to “seek peace and pursue it.”

Reemphasize the Baptist concepts of freedom of individual conscience and of the worth and inherent rights of each human being;

Call upon the statesmen of the world to intensify their efforts and to take initiatives for peaceful and just solutions of international disputes and differences, and toward that end, to

—strengthen and improve the United Nations,
—make the United Nations universal in the representation of all peoples,
—seek agreements for the limitations of both offensive and defensive strategic weapons, —seek immediate agreements to suspend the further deployment of all offensive and defensive

nuclear strategic weapons systems, subject to national verification or such other measures of observation and inspection as may be appropriate,

—encourage all efforts for peace by way of international conferences,

—strive for justice and fullness of life for all people of all races, contribute toward the progress of all peoples in overcoming hunger and disease and poverty.

We cry out against the continued tragedy of the conflicts in Indochina and the Middle East and urge that the killing be stopped.

We plead for renewed and inspired moves for solutions and for peace in these difficult and dangerous areas; and

We pray for divine guidance to help all humanity find and follow the path of peace.

We appeal to all Christians that they may hear the voice of wisdom and unite in fulfillment of the precept of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”


Original Source Bibliography: Bryant, Cyril E., editor. Reconciliation Through Christ: Official Report of the Twelfth Congress, Tokyo, Japan, July 12-18, 1970. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1971.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Cyril E. Bryant, ed., Reconciliation Through Christ: Official Report of the Twelfth Congress, Tokyo, Japan, July 12-18, 1970 (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1971), pp. 251-252.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1970.1 World Peace and Reconciliation;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress 1970.1).

World Peace and Reconciliation

Resolution on Genocide

BWA World Congress Resolution 1950.3


The U. N. Convention defines genocide to mean certain acts (enumerated in Article II) committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such.

“Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings.”

WHEREAS, The United Nations has adopted a Convention on Genocide, for the purpose of condemning and outlawing the scourge of mass murder, and

WHEREAS, During the last war certain of the nations were guilty of this inhuman practice, using it both against minorities within their own borders as well as against conquered peoples and prisoners of war, and

WHEREAS, Christian conscience has been outraged by such treatment of human beings, and

WHEREAS, Only six more governments need to ratify this Convention in order to give it legal status, binding on those nations which have, or shall in the future, ratify this Convention, therefore be it

Resolved, That this World Congress of Baptists endorses the principle of the Convention on Genocide, and expresses the hope that it may speedily be ratified by the necessary number of governments and thus become part of the slowly emerging body of international law.


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), p. 340.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1950.3 Resolution on Genocide;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1950.3).

World Peace and Reconciliation

International Peace

BWA World Congress Resolution 1923.7

Minutes, pp. xxx-xxxi:

142. The following resolution on International Peace, was moved by the Rev. F. C. Spurr, of Birmingham, England, seconded by the Rev. C. H. Sears, of New York, discussed, and carried unanimously:—

“The members of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Stockholm, recognize with thankfulness that there are many signs of hope on the far horizon, in spite of the fact that the war spirit is still at work among the nations. The sense of the horror and wickedness of war has burnt itself deeply into the heart and conscience of all the members of our churches.

“The Congress urges the members of all churches throughout the world to pray for peace, to counter-work everything that is likely to provoke Governments to act against each other, to cleanse the educational books of all nations of all racial and national antagonisms, especially in the writing of history, and to kindle admiration for the leaders who devoted themselves to the deliverance of the oppressed, the healing of the diseased, and the service of all. Further, the Congress believes that the cause of peace would be furthered by international church conferences, and the meeting together of Christian people of different nationalities in the interests of brotherhood and goodwill.

“The Congress earnestly desires that all the nations should be brought into co-operative efforts to secure peace through a representative tribunal or Court for the settlement of international quarrels.

“This Congress, representing millions of citizens belonging to different Governments, appeals to the Governments of the world to make the maintenance of peace their first aim, for the sake of each nation and people, and for the sake of happiness and well-being of mankind.”

143. The following memorandum, approved for publication by the Committee on resolutions and by the Executive Committee, was presented through Dr. Rushbrooke for record :— …

“Some of the Russian brethren, while agreeing with all which the resolution contained, have asked that a sentence be added, declaring army service under all conditions unlawful for Christian men.

“The Committee on resolutions was unable to assent to their request, since such a declaration would not represent the general conviction among Baptists. They have an intense horror for war, but have not collectively adopted the doctrine of non-resistance. There have always been among them, and there are still, persons who on conscientious grounds object to any form of military service; and Baptists respect the loyalty to principle which these display.

“The members of the Congress are gratified to know that the Russian Soviet Government accepts alternative service from those who on conscientious and religious grounds are unable to serve in the army.”


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), pp. xxx-xxxi, see pp. 212-213 for a description of the circumstances.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1923.7 International Peace;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1923.7).

World Peace and Reconciliation

1965 BWA World Congress Manifesto

Manifesto on Religious Liberty and Human Rights

(Adopted by the Congress Sunday evening, June 27)

I. WE THANK GOD for the greater opportunities given to many men, women, and children for a full, healthy, and free life; for the increasing mastery over the powers of nature and their use for the common good; for new facilities for education, communication and travel; for the decrease of discrimination because of race or creed; and for greater civil and religious liberty in many parts of the world.

II. WE REAFFIRM our faith that the gospel of God’s free salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is for all men, without distinction, and that today as in previous generations it speaks to man’s every need, convicting, redeeming, transforming, guarding the human spirit and requiring the ending of exploitation and tyranny, and the provision of full opportunities for its free acceptance and for worship, witness, and service.

III. WE SUFFER with our generation in and through the neglect of God and preoccupation with selfish ends; in the misuse of many opportunities and powers; in failure adequately to mobilize human and material resources to meet men’s needs; in acquiescence in policies which deny basic human rights and bring suffering to individuals and communities; in lack of concern for those driven from their homes, imprisoned for conscience sake, and stunted in body, mind, and spirit.

IV. WE APPEAL to our fellow Baptists and our fellow Christians everywhere to show concern in these matters; to study what the teaching of Christ implies for human freedom and dignity; to manifest this in their relations with one another, both individual and corporate, and to interpret to the world the reconciling and liberating message of God’s love. We APPEAL to the governments of all lands, not only to preserve law and order, but also to recognize and guarantee religious and civil liberty and the right of men to maintain or change religious allegiance and freely to worship, witness, teach, and serve.


BWA; Conscience; Discrimination; Equality; Freedom; Human Rights; Hunger; Justice; Peace; Prejudice; Racism; Religious Freedom; Reconciliation; Religious Liberty; War.


Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. The Truth That Makes Men Free: Official Report of the Eleventh Congress, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A., June 25-30, 1965. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., The Truth That Makes Men Free: Official Report of the Eleventh Congress, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.A., June 25-30, 1965 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966), p. 482.

Online Document Full Citation: 1965 BWA World Congress Manifesto on Religious Liberty and Human Rights;

In-text Online Document Citation: (1965 BWA World Congress Manifesto).
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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.

World Peace and Reconciliation

Religious Liberty

BWA General Council Resolution 2012.2

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Santiago, Chile July 2-7, 2012:

ACKNOWLEDGING we as Baptists are now celebrating the historic occasion of the 400th anniversary of Thomas Helwys’ 1612 publication of the Mystery of Iniquity, the first defense of Universal Religious Liberty for all persons to be published in the English language;

WHEREAS, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”*;

WHEREAS, Religion can be deeply rooted in the identity of a person and one’s relation to the transcendental world expressed in acts of worship and the sharing of one’s faith;

WHEREAS, Religious Liberty for all persons has been a foundational Baptist principle for 400 years;

WHEREAS, Religious Liberty appears to be taken for granted even as religious minority groups in various parts of the world are suffering for lack of religious liberty protection;

WHEREAS, Religious Liberty cannot be taken for granted, but must be defended by every generation;

THEREFORE CALLS on Baptist church leaders around the world to renew urgently the teaching on Religious Liberty for all persons and to serve as advocates in their congregations and communities for the protection of all who wish to worship as their consciences dictate.

*Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights


BWA General Council Resolution 2012.2 Religious Liberty

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2012 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2012.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2012 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2012), p. 149.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2012.2 Religious Liberty;

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2012.2).