Baptist people numbering more than 34 million from all over the world have long stood for the right of all people to be free and independent and have worked to encourage governments everywhere to respect human rights. As Christians we believe that human rights are God-given and that violations of human rights are violations of the laws of God. We have expressed deep concern in previous years about human rights violations in all parts of the world, from blatant racial discrimination and restrictions on religious freedom to military and economic oppression.
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.
Affirming the Baptist heritage of religious liberty which has, from its inception, upheld the right of all people to practice and propagate their religious faith without let or hindrance;
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, believing in the inherent right of all people to freedom of religious faith, practice, and propagation, and recognizing the rights of governments to require that such freedom shall be exercised responsibly, wishes once again to express its deep concern over present attitudes in many countries with respect to religious believers, involving in some cases, strong legislation against them.
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, July 20- 25, 2008;
Laments that the Italian government, without objection of the European Union, is practicing the involuntary fingerprinting of all Roma people within its borders, including children, which we regard as ethnic profiling;
“Race relations is one of the perplexing problems which the Christian Church must face in the world to- day. There are many conditions and attitudes which strain and impair human relations and cause great concern; but we cannot solve the problem unless we face it forthrightly as Christians.
We who have the privilege and joy of attending the Twelfth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance at Tokyo greet you, the members of churches in fellowship with the Alliance. In this written message we cannot convey the wonder of the inspiration felt in worship, prayer, and fellowship with so large a gathering of representatives from so many countries, meeting for the first time in Asia.
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.
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.’
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...