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).

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).

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).

Rumania

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).

Rumania

Final Resolution

BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.7

This final session of the Jubilee Congress of the Baptist World Alliance rejoices to record an attendance of over 8,500 delegates, representing Baptist communities in every continent and over sixty lands. It welcomes in particular the participation of a delegation from the Baptists of the Soviet Union.

Our joy would have been complete could we have had with us brethren from China, Rumania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria, all of which lands have been represented at several of our former congresses.

We assure the Baptists of all lands of our remembrance, particularly those who may have been hindered from coming to the Congress by the refusal of travel permits. We deeply deplore restrictions placed on religious witness and fellowship, whether on ecclesiastical or other grounds. We think with concern of brethren suffering imprisonment and persecution and assure them of our continued efforts on their behalf and our constant prayers.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Ohrn, Arnold T, editor. Golden Jubilee Congress (Ninth World Congress), London, England, July 16-22, 1955. London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1956.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Arnold T. Ohrn, ed., Golden Jubilee Congress (Ninth World Congress), London, England, July 16-22, 1955 (London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1956), p. 372.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.7 Final Resolution; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA World Congress Resolution 1955.7).