Letter to the Government of Rumania

Letter to the Government of Rumania

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.2

To give effect to the foregoing resolution (I), the Committee unanimously approved (after similar scrutiny by the Sub-Committee) the following letter to the Minister-President of the Government of Rumania: —

With the utmost respect we approach you on behalf of the Baptist communion, which is the largest Protestant and Free Church communion in the world, and whose members everywhere cherish sincere goodwill to Rumania, its people, and its government.

The religious tenets of our people are well known. They abhor all that is subversive of Christian morals and public order, and their doctrines and practice tend to promote the strength and wellbeing of every nation. There is nothing in the belief and life of the Baptist people to which any State may rightly raise objection. In view of unfounded assertions, which we are informed have been made concerning Baptists in Rumania, we specifically assert that opposition in military service required by the State has never formed an element of Baptist dogma. Our people yield precedence to none in readiness to render to the State every form of service consistent with loyalty to God. To them the teachings of the New Testament as set forth (for example) in Matt. 22, 21 and Rom. 13, 1-8 are authoritative.

Our approach to Your Excellency is on purely religious grounds. It has no concern with special political or national interests in any form, and in making it we do not speak for any State or political party. Nevertheless, since the prevalence of freedom and justice makes for the strength of a people, we may fairly claim that your favourable response to our petition would serve the deepest and most enduring interests of Rumania itself; and we may also claim that the establishment of conditions in Rumania which command the approval of public opinion in free democratic countries would further the good understanding between peoples which is the chief factor in the maintenance of general wellbeing and peace.

In approaching Your Excellency, we would lay stress upon the fact that Baptists seek no exceptional favour to members of their communion. To them religious freedom is not a privilege to be granted to any group or groups, but is the common right of all loyal and peaceable citizens. They claim liberty for the full exercise of that right in all its implications.

In the name of the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance, which is the ecumenical organisation representing the entire Baptist communion, we desire to express our profound regret that, after careful consideration of the “Decision” No. 4,781, dated 17th April 1937, and bearing the signature of the Minister of Cults and Arts in your Government, we are compelled to regard that “derision” as in its principle subversive of religions liberty as acknowledged in free and selfgoverning States and in the constitution of Rumania itself. Moreover, its detailed provisions involve a systematic repression which destroys for Baptists and. others freedom of worship, of preaching, and of organisation in accordance with the teachings of the New Testament.

The Executive Committee has considered the letter of protest and appeal dated 31st May 1937, forwarded to His Excellency the Minister of Cults and Arts, and of which a copy was transmitted to yourself. The members unanimously endorse the contents of the letter, and earnestly ask that it may receive the consideration of Your Excellency and Your Government, and that the decision No. 4781 may be withdrawn. They cannot conceive that it is the deliberate purpose of Your Government to forbid assemblies for purely religious objects, and to place upon liberty of preaching such restrictions as in spirit and in form are characteristic of the seventeenth rather than of the twentieth century.

To this Committee it would seem incredible that the suppression and even the extinction of a Christian Communion represented in every part of the earth is seriously proposed in Rumania. The attempt to enforce a decision involving such consequences would, indeed, shock the conscience and public opinion of the world.

We, therefore, on behalf of our communion of over 12,000,000 communicant members, representing a constituency of over forty millions, submit to Your Excellency our solemn and deliberate judgment that the decision which has aroused such deep concern should be withdrawn, and that our brethren in faith, loyal citizens of your country, should be granted the full liberty which elsewhere they enjoy, and which they have never abused to the hurt of their fellow citizens or of the State.

We would close this appeal by the renewed assurance that the prayers of our people are offered, not only for our fellow Baptists of Your Excellency’s country, but for the prosperity of the State and all its people; and we and the world-fellowship of Baptists which we represent would rejoice to add to our prayer a thanksgiving for the recognition by Your Government of the status as a Christian community of Baptist people in Rumania, and their unfettered liberty of assembly, of worship, and of preaching.

It was further resolved that the letter signed by the President and General Secretary be presented by a deputation, whose members should be selected by the General Secretary, to the Rumanian Minister in London, for transmission to his Government.

Keywords

BWA; Justice; Persecution; Religious Liberty; Rumania.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at The Offices of the Alliance, London, on Tuesday, June 29th, 1937. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at The Offices of the Alliance, London, on Tuesday, June 29th, 1937 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937), pp.7-8.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.2 Letter to the Government of Rumania; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.2).

Letter to the Government of Rumania

Rumania

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.1

10. Rumania

The General Secretary reported at length on the situation in Rumania, and the possibilities of action by this Executive. Dr. Gill added a few words of confirmation und supplement. The Committee appreciated the gravity of the issue, and (having referred the precise terms for scrutiny by a Sub-Committee which
reported after the lunch interval) unanimously adopted the following three resolutions: —

I.

The Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance representing the Baptist communion throughout the world, after full and careful consideration of the “Decision” No. 4781, dated 17th April 1937, and bearing the signature of the Minister of Cults and Arts in the Rumanian Government, finds that this “decision” is in its principle subversive of religious liberty as acknowledged in free and self-governing States and in the constitution of Rumania itself, and that its detailed provisions involve a systematic repression which destroys for Baptists and others freedom of worship, of preaching, and of organisation in accordance with the teachings of the New Testament.


In the name of the Baptist communion, including over twelve millions of communicant church members and representing a constituency of over forty million persons in sixty countries, the Committee expresses its deep regret that the Government of Rumania, a country towards which Baptists cherish sentiments of sincere goodwill, has adopted measures which it is compelled to characterise as reactionary and unjust.


The Committee approves the letter of protest and appeal, dated 31st May 1937, and forwarded to the Minister of Cults and Arts by the Administrative Committee of this Alliance, and now directs that a further statement he submitted by the President and General Secretary of the Alliance to the Minister-President, of the Royal Government of Rumania expressing the deep concern and distress which the “decision” has aroused among Baptists, and will assuredly arouse among lovers of Christian freedom in all countries.


The Committee would gladly avoid the necessity of entering into public controversy with the Government of Rumania, and therefore respectfully and earnestly appeals to that Government, and especially to Their Excellencies the Minister-President and the Minister of Cults and Arts, to withdraw the “decision.”

II.

The Committee assures the Baptists in Rumania of the deep sympathy of their fellow-Baptists throughout the world, and of its firm resolve to extend them support by constant prayer and by sustained protest in the interests of justice and liberty.

III.

This Committee authorises and instructs the General Secretary, in the event of the Rumanian Government continuing or developing a policy of repression, to communicate with the unions and conventions of Baptists in all countries calling attention to the situation in Rumania, and urging that they take suitable action in their respective countries (a) to make known the facts, (b) to promote a general protest and appeals to the Government of Rumania, and (c) to promote, if necessary, an appeal to the League of Nations.

Keywords

BWA; Justice; League of Nations; Persecution; Religious Liberty; Rumania.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at The Offices of the Alliance, London, on Tuesday, June 29th, 1937. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at The Offices of the Alliance, London, on Tuesday, June 29th, 1937 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937), pp.6-7.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.1 Rumania; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.1).

Letter to the Government of Rumania

Persecution of Baptists in Rumania

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.2

A resolution on Persecution was brought up by Mr. Rushbrooke, seconded by Mr. Brooks, and carried unanimously, as follows:—

“The Conference Places on record its profound concern at the grave reports of persecution from which our Baptist brethren in Rumania have suffered during the past eighteen months and even within recent weeks; and calls upon the Rumanian Government to undertake a thorough investigation into the facts, and to take decisive action to bring to an end all religious persecution within its territories.”

Agreed that this be forwarded to the Department of State in America, to the British Foreign Office, and such bodies as are concerned.

Keywords

BWA; Persecution; Rumania.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, and Other Representative Baptists, Held at the Baptist Church House, Southampton Row, London, W.C. 1., From 19th to 23rd July, 1920. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1920.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, and Other Representative Baptists, Held at the Baptist Church House, Southampton Row, London, W.C. 1., From 19th to 23rd July, 1920 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1920), p. 10.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.2 Persecution of Baptists in Rumania; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1920-07.2).

Letter to the Government of Rumania

Situation in Ukraine

BWA General Council Resolution 2014.5

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

ACKNOWLEDGES, with deep sadness and great concern, the current political crisis in Ukraine that has resulted in armed conflict, loss of life, displacement of many people and severe tension between Russia and Ukraine;

NOTES with concern that, in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine generally, the situation has led to increased religious persecution, especially against evangelical Christians; BELIEVES that our allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord transcends all our national allegiances and aspirations, and that Christ, by his death on the Cross has “broken down the dividing walls of hostility”
(Ephesians 2:14), now and for all time to come;

SUPPORTS all efforts by the international community towards freedom, justice and peace for the whole of Ukraine, and all initiatives towards the reconciliation of those who have been in conflict with each another;

ENCOURAGES the work of Ukrainian Baptists in reaching out in the love of Christ to those most affected by the conflict;

URGES the leaders and churches of the Baptist Unions of Ukraine and Russia to overcome prejudice and misunderstanding in the situation, to seek to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to each other, and to continue to work together in partnership towards a common vision of mission and the growth of the Kingdom of God in their region; and

PROMISES to continue to pray for peace and reconciliation among the people of Ukraine and their political leaders, and to support our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine in the challenging days to come.

“Blessed are the peacemakers…” (Matthew 5:9).

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), p. 142.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2014.5 Situation in Ukraine; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2014.5).

Letter to the Government of Rumania

The Millennium of Christianity in Russia

BWA General Council Resolution 1987.5

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Amman, Jordan, July 5-12, 1987, expresses its joy at the forthcoming celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of Christianity in Russia in 1988 and gives God thanks for the contribution of Russian Christians to the world church.

The Council warmly welcomes the news that the Russian Orthodox Church has been granted permission to print 100,000 jubilee Bibles as part of the celebration and that a further 100,000 Bibles may be imported for the All-Union Council of Christians-Baptists through a joint BWA/United Bible Societies project in the same year.

We also express our pleasure at the recent government announcement of an amnesty from June 1 to December 31, 1987, by which many now in prison will be released, including Christian brothers and sisters for whom we have long prayed,

We express the hope that these developments of liberalization and democratization within the Soviet Union will continue to grow so that it will bring about that trust which will deepen and strengthen international relations.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1987 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1987.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1987 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1987), pp. 60-61.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1987.5 The Millennium of Christianity in Russia; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1987.5).