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.
REJOICES with the world community at recent political developments where negotiation has opened the way to peaceful resolution of long-term hostility or oppression, in particular:
• the September 1993 accords between the Israelis and Palestinians
• the birth of a non-racial and truly democratic society through the April 1994 elections in South Africa
• the peaceful transition to democracy in Malawi in 1994 where Baptists and other Christian leaders played a crucial and courageous role;
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Havana July 5-8, 2000
NOTES the pain and suffering endured by innocent persons as a result of the imposition of international economic sanctions;
RECALLS that at its meeting in Montego Bay in 1992 the Council took note of the “heavy burdens placed on the poor of … Cuba by the present trade embargo” and called for the “speedy removal of economic sanctions which impact leaders, while devastating the population at large”:
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance Annual Gathering, meeting in Accra, Ghana, July 2-7, 2007:
Resolves to commemorate in this historic setting the two hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the abolition of the slave trade.
Admits a long history of human enslavement that has broken families, robbed identities, stripped dignity and inflicted deep and inexpressible pain.
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.