Church and State and Religious Freedom

Church and State and Religious Freedom

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.3

(Page 8 – Background to the Resolution)

  1. Germany.
    Statements were made as to the position of Baptists in Germany, whose world (it was reported) had not been seriously disturbed; and discussion took place as to whether it was desirable to take action on the subject of repressive action towards other Christian bodies. The Committee considered it unwise to attempt to deal with matters concerning which it is not specifically informed; but resolved that a resolution of a general kind should be inserted in the minutes of this meeting reaffirming the historic position of Baptists as to Church and State and as to freedom of religious belief and practice. (See No. 20 following.)
  2. Church and State and Religious Freedom.
    This Committee feels it desirable to call special attention to the resolution adopted by the Fifth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance held at Berlin in August, 1934:—

“The members of this Congress believe that the Church is the company of the people of Christ with the Lord Himself according to His promise in the midst of them, and that He by His Spirit guides them into all Truth and makes plain to them the Will of God for them.

“They hold that any interference with the freedom of the Church is an intrusion between God and His people, and that to limit the liberty of the Church is to hinder the working out of God’s purpose of redemption for mankind through His people.

“They therefore deny the right of the State to interfere in matters of religion, and equally the right of any church to enter into such relations with the State as may compromise its witness or limit its freedom to follow the Will of Christ as revealed to its members, and they believe that any system of State establishment of religion tends rather to the secularizing of the Church than to the spiritualizing of the State.

“The Church is God’s appointed instrument for the redemption of the World and any infringement of its freedom limits its power to accomplish this task.

“The members of this Congress claim for all religious bodies full liberty in matters of faith and worship and the unrestricted right to preach and to teach the Truth as it is revealed to them.

“They further declare their conviction that the above principles tend to promote the true welfare alike of the Church and of the State.”

The Committee declares the entire Baptist communion throughout the world to be resolutely opposed to religious repression of every kind, whether directed against Baptists or others, and it expresses the unwavering sympathy of all our people for the victims of persecution or repression, whether belonging to our own or any other communion.

Keywords

BWA; Church and State; German Baptists; Germany; Religious Freedom.

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. 8, 10.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.3 Church and State and Religious Freedom; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1937-06.3).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

Religious Education of Children in the U.S.S.R.

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1925-02.1

56. Statements having been made by Drs. Franklin and Rushbrooke as to the position in Russia; agreed that Dr. Rushbrooke be instructed to prepare a resolution expressing support of his protest on the subject of the Russian Government’s attitude on the question of religious teaching of children. This resolution was formulated as follows:—

“That the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance regrets and deplores the fact that the laws of the U.S.S.R. forbid the organized religious education of children under eighteen years of age, emphasises its conviction that such a prohibition is inconsistent with the religious freedom guaranteed under the constitution of the U.S.S.R., and earnestly trusts that this repressive legislation may at an early date be annulled.”

Keywords

BWA; Children; Education; Religious Freedom; Russia; U.S.S.R.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, Held in the Del Prado Hotel, Chicago, U.S.A., on Wednesday and Thursday, 25th and 26th February, 1925. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1925.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, Held in the Del Prado Hotel, Chicago, U.S.A., on Wednesday and Thursday, 25th and 26th February, 1925 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1925), p. 13.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1925-02.1 Religious Education of Children in the U.S.S.R.; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1925-02.1).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

Rumania and Religious Freedom

BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1926-09.1

10. Rumania. Resolved, after a statement by Dr. Rushbrooke, that the following resolution be sent to the Rumanian Government and afterwards published:—

“That this Executive Committee expresses its sorrow and indignation that the former Government of Rumania has, both in administrative action and in legislative proposals, shown itself hostile to the principle of religious freedom. In the name of the Baptists of the world and all lovers of religious liberty and equality, it appeals to the present Government to grant to the Baptist denomination full and complete legal recognition. The Executive Committee endorses the Memorandum dated 5th January, 1926, which its Eastern Secretary, Dr. J. H. Rushbrooke, (who is now also President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland), prepared and despatched to the former Minister of Cultus and Arts. It is convinced that the adoption of the proposals contained in that Memorandum would represent an effective practical acknowledgement of the principle of religious freedom, and would accord with the obligations accepted by Rumania under the Treaty of Trianon. It hopes that the present Rumanian Government, by a favorable response to this appeal, will dispel the resentment which the repressive action of its predecessors has aroused throughout the world.” (See Minute 45.)

Keywords

BWA; Religious Freedom; Rumania, Treaty of Trianon.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, Held at the Offices of the Alliance, 4, Southampton Row, London, England, on Wednesday, September 8th, 1926, and, after adjournment, continued on Friday, October 22nd, 1926. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1926.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee, Held at the Offices of the Alliance, 4, Southampton Row, London, England, on Wednesday, September 8th, 1926, and, after adjournment, continued on Friday, October 22nd, 1926 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1926), p. 3.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1926-09.1 Rumania and Religious Freedom; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1926-09.1).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA

BWA General Council Resolution 2017.3

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:

AFFIRMS freedom of religion and belief as a core value borne out in Baptist history and opposes all forms of discrimination based on faith or religion;

RECALLS that freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental pillar in the Constitution of the United States of America;

NOTES that the current travel ban on residents of several Muslim-majority nations raises serious concerns about religious freedom and contravenes the BWA conviction that no law should be used to discriminate on the basis of religion;

URGES President Donald Trump and the United States Government to affirm the historic commitment to religious freedom for all people as the legal process around the travel ban continues; and

CALLS upon Baptists in the United States to defend the cherished Baptist principle of religious

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017), p. 147.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2017.3 Resolution on Religious Liberty in the USA; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2017.3).

Church and State and Religious Freedom

Resolution on Religious Freedom in Russia

BWA General Council Resolution 2017.2

The Baptist World Alliance General Council, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, July 5-7, 2017:

REAFFIRMS our historic Baptist commitment to religious freedom as a gift of God to all people, regardless of denomination or religion; and that this same commitment is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, to which the Russian Federation is a signatory;

NOTES with great concern the passage of recent legislation that restricts evangelism and missionary work by minority faiths, which has led to a deterioration of religious freedom in Russia;

REGRETS the application of this law to make Jehovah’s Witnesses illegal as a religious denomination, labelling it as an “extremist group” and seeking to criminalize its worship;

NOTES with concern that fellow Baptists and other Christian believers in Russia have been arrested and fined during the past year due to the new laws curtailing religious liberty;

COMMENDS the response of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists for standing for the principle of religious freedom for everyone, even for those with whom they have deep differences, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses; and for having expressed to President Putin its “profound concern” at this violation “of freedom of conscience of tens of thousands of citizens of the Russian Federation who confess the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses”;

URGES the president, government and judiciary of the Russian Federation to restore the religious rights of all people, especially the Jehovah’s Witnesses, at the forthcoming Appeal of their being declared an illegal organization;

AFFIRMS the rights of all religious groups in Russia, especially religious minorities, to legally exist and to worship in freedom, as provided for in the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the United Nations Declarations on Human Rights, Article 18.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2017 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2017), p. 146.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2017.2 Resolution on Religious Freedom in Russia; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2017.2).