Kachin Crisis

Kachin Crisis

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:

LAMENTS the atrocities occurring in Rakhine, Chin, Karen and Kachin states in Myanmar;

RECALLS that Baptist missionaries, Adoniram and Ann Judson, arrived on the shores of Myanmar in 1813 and Eugenio Kincaid, the Judsons’ missionary colleague, first addressed the Kachins in 1837;

AFFIRMS Jesus’ teaching that his followers should do to others what we would have them do to us “for this sums up the Law and Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) and the scriptural injunction to love our neighbors as ourselves (See, for example, Galatians 5:14);

NOTES that the Kachin Baptist Convention, founded in 1910, represents the majority of Kachin people living in Myanmar and around the world and is a member of the Myanmar Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance, sharing the Christian commitment to peace and justice;

REGRETS that, in June 2011, a seventeen-year cease-fire between the Myanmar army and the Kachin Independence Army broke down and, although the president of Myanmar ordered the military on December 10, 2011, to stop their offensive, the war in the Kachin State has escalated;

LAMENTS that large numbers of innocent civilians have been killed and many women have been raped as part of a strategy of violence. More than 200 Kachin Baptist villages have been lost and at least sixty six places of worship have been destroyed. The war has forced more than 100,000 civilians to flee their homes and live in camps as Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs);

SUPPORTS the following public statement issued by the Kachin Baptist Convention on January 30, 2013, calling on all parties involved:

• “To immediately cease military operations at this time when the Myanmar president’s Roadmap to Peace is being implemented, as it is creating mistrust and affecting national unity for the brothers and sisters of all ethnic groups of Myanmar.”

• “To permit fast and effective access to humanitarian assistance by the removal of barriers to the UN agencies and international human rights organizations from reaching areas in need to ensure physical and emotional security of innocent civilians.”

• “To cease all harassment, arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention of civilians under the guise of security and other reason, cease military attacks upon civilians and those in the IDP camps, the burning of houses and villages, and sexual violence against female civilians, and to respect human rights laws.”

• “We do not believe that the use of force to attain peace can achieve sustainable peace. We urge an immediate political dialogue through the setting up of clear policies and procedures in order to secure a truly genuine and just peace;”

CALLS UPON Baptists worldwide:

• to stand with our Kachin Christian brothers and sisters in Myanmar and around the world to find solutions to this conflict and to all situations of ethnic cleansing through the power of prayer and nonviolent peacemaking; and

• to support actions of the United Nations and other nongovernmental organizations to promote relief work, establish justice, and return peace to this land.

Citations

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11 Kachin Crisis

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), pp. 145- 146.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11 Kachin Crisis; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11).

Kachin Crisis

Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.10

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:

ACKNOWLEDGES that impact of the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East and North Africa has led to an increase in the persecution of minorities, including Christians;

NOTES that radical police and military actions have gone unpunished by governments of several Middle Eastern Countries;

LAMENTS that Christians have been targeted and persecuted in contexts where they have been perceived to be loyal to specific regimes in several countries;

REGRETS that attacks by Islamic extremists have victimized men, women and children in more than one location;

RECOGNIZES that Lebanon and other countries in the region are having an influx of refugees from Iraq and Syria;

RECOMMENDS Christian ministry to all refugees and pledges to pray for Lebanese Baptists and other Christians in the region who are ministering to refugees in the name of Jesus Christ;

URGES governments of the Middle East to engage religious minority groups located within their borders in the process of pursuing measures to protect them against actions that target Christians and other minorities;

ENCOURAGES Baptists to pray for the safety and well-being of our brothers and sisters in the faith;

URGES the United Nations and national governments to work cooperatively to assist those countries in the protection of all the rights of all their citizens;

CALLS UPON governments to refrain from sending or selling armaments to the forces in conflict in Syria and instead support the efforts of those who are working toward a negotiated peace and provide essential humanitarian resources to assist refugees in this situation of conflict; and

COMMENDS and supports the efforts of moderate religious people everywhere who advocate for the just treatment of all citizens throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Citations

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11 Kachin Crisis

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), pp. 145- 146.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11 Kachin Crisis; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.11).

Kachin Crisis

Myanmar, Violence and Religious Liberty

BWA General Council Resolution 2014.3

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Izmir Turkey, July 9-11, 2014:

AFFIRMS the many significant steps taken by President Thein Sein’s government in Myanmar in recent years to relax restrictions and permit a more open society. In particular we welcome the release of many political prisoners and the opening up of greater freedoms in civil society and the media;

EXPRESSES grave concern regarding the proposed Religious Conversion Law, published in state media, on May 27, 2014, that places severe restrictions upon the exercise of religious liberty. We note, with concern, the proposal to deny the right of an individual to choose a faith other than the faith of the community into which they were born. We also observe the intrusive role the law provides for government officials, including the right to apply fines or imprisonment in instances of religious conversion. The impact of these developments especially on minority religions in Myanmar, including the Christian community, will be devastating;

CALLS on President Thien Sien and his government to abandon the proposed law and to adhere to the principles of religious liberty spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

APPLAUDS the peace-building initiatives taken which have reduced decades of fighting and displacement of people from homes and villages across Myanmar;

LAMENTS the fact that, after three years, the military continues the conflict in the Kachin state, earlier addressed in BWA Resolution 11 of 2013: “Kachin Crisis;”

CONDEMNS the forceful displacement of the Kachin by the military for the economic exploitation of the natural resources of the Kachin state;

GRIEVES over the violence being suffered by Muslim communities across Myanmar, most acutely in Rakhine state, where the Rohingyas have lived for generations. Thousands of Muslims have been displaced, their homes and shops looted and burned. Hundreds have been killed; and

REAFFIRMS its commitment as Baptists to religious freedom for all; and calls for the elections scheduled for November 2015 to be free and fair.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2014 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2014.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2014 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2014), pp. 139- 140.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2014.3 Myanmar, Violence and Religious Liberty; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2014.3).

Kachin Crisis

Caribbean Court of Justice

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.9

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.9 Caribbean Court of Justice

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Ocha Rios, Jamaica, July 1-6, 2013:

NOTES that English-speaking Caribbean nations have expressed a desire to eliminate the legal practice of making appeals from Caribbean courts to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, based on concerns for political identity, self-determination and national sovereignty;

ACKNOWLEDGES that the principle of a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to serve as the Caribbean final appellate jurisdiction was established in 1947 and that appeal to British courts limits accessibility to justice, owing to visa requirements and significant costs associated with travel and acquiring legal counsel in the United Kingdom;

OBSERVES that, after much deliberation among member states of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), the Caribbean Court of Justice was established in 2005 to provide for the Caribbean Community an accessible, fair, efficient and impartial court system on a jurisprudence reflective of the history, values and traditions of member states while maintaining an independent institution worthy of the trust and confidence of the people and of emulation by the courts of the region;

UNDERSTANDS that the CCJ is vested with an original jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation and application of the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community, as well as an appellate jurisdiction and , at this time, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize use the CCJ as the highest criminal court of appeal;

STANDS ALONGSIDE the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship in its support for the CCJ as the final appellate jurisdiction among member states of CARICOM.

Citations

BWA General Council Resolution 2013.9 Caribbean Court of Justice

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2013 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2013), p. 144.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2013.9 Caribbean Court of Justice; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2013.9).