Peace and Peaceful Change

Peace and Peaceful Change

BWA General Council Resolution 1982.6

We express our grave disappointment over the breaches of international peace which have occurred in the past twelve months, especially but not limited to, the situation in the Falkland Islands-Islas Malvinas, and in Lebanon, Somalia, El Salvador and Afghanistan, among others.

We name our Christian commitment to Shalom and to a Kingdom of God perspective exposing social injustice and inviting change toward more justice as an alternative to violence and war. We pray that the world Baptist community will accept courageously its Christian calling as peacemakers (Matt. 5:9) and interpret the calling as a pro-active as well as a reactive stance. We recognize that the willful destruction of human life and human values must be opposed.

We are grateful that both the Baptists of the Argentine and of Great Britain and Ireland kept alive the oneness in Christ despite other differences they may hold and prayed for one another.

We voice a concern over acts of terrorism, assassinations, and the taking of hostages all of which have posed potential threats to peace and stability, as well as being unconscionable assaults upon the individuals concerned.

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. 75.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1982.6 Peace and Peaceful Change; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1982.6).

Peace and Peaceful Change

Resolution on the Middle East

BWA General Council Resolution 2011.4

Christ is our Peace… (Ephesians 2:14}

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 4-9, 2011:

REGARDS current events in various countries in the Middle East as an opportunity for peaceful positive changes in the societies, and, therefore:

CALLS for solidarity of member bodies of the BWA with all Christians in the Middle East, especially our Arab Baptist brothers and sisters, encouraging them at this time of social unrest and political uncertainty to play their part in the common longing to secure human rights, peace and respect for all people of the region;

CONDEMNS all forms of violent protest and violent repression of peaceful demonstrations during recent events in the Middle East; and expresses great concern about recent violent attacks made on Christians and Christian churches by extremist groups, especially in Egypt and Iraq, urging governments to afford full protection under law to all religious minorities, especially in places where such minorities continue to find themselves objects of discrimination;

RE-AFFIRMS the commitment in our Baptist heritage and identity to religious freedom for all, and for people of all religions to live at peace with one another in the same geographical space;

COMMENDS the “Common Word” initiative and the BWA response to it as a basis for further study, and for improving the relationship of Baptists with their Muslim neighbours in the Middle East and elsewhere;

ENCOURAGES Baptists in the Middle East to further explore how an authentic Christian witness can be made with conviction, but also with courtesy and respect, in a Muslim-majority context, commending especially the work of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut for its pioneering work in this regard;

COMMENDS those Middle Eastern Baptists, e.g. in Lebanon and Gaza, who are reaching out with humanitarian aid to meet the needs of their communities, including refugees, regardless of religion, and urges the worldwide Baptist family to support them in these endeavours;

URGES Baptists around the world to work and pray for a just resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, one that balances Israel’s need for security with an end to oppressive policies inflicted on the Palestinian people, and to be a strong support to the Israeli (Arab) and Palestinian Baptist Churches in the many pressures and challenges that they face;

NOTES with understanding, but concern, the significant number of Christians moving away from the Middle East because of pressures on them, and invites the BWA to explore specific ways of cooperating with Middle East Baptist conventions and unions to enable and encourage Baptist Christians to remain in the Middle East as a continuing sign and affirmation of Christian presence and witness in the region; and

CALLS BWA member bodies to informed and persistent prayer for the whole region, and an active solidarity with all the Baptist communities there.

Citations

BWA General Council Resolution 2011.4 Resolution on the Middle East

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2011 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2011.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2011 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2011), pp. 134- 135.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2011.4 Resolution on the Middle East; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2011.4).