Fundamental Freedoms

Fundamental Freedoms

BWA General Council Resolution 1982.3

Ever since the Baptist World Congress in Atlanta in 1939 the Baptist World Alliance has spoken out with regularity on behalf of religious freedom for all persons, and in more recent years on behalf of civil liberties generally.

Therefore we welcome the proclamation by the United Nations in November 1981 of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief. We urge the United Nations to proceed with the drafting of a covenant, to be offered to the nations for signature and ratification, which would translate the declaration into law. We ask our member bodies to encourage the irrespective governments to participate in such a treaty-making process.

We take note with regret that the existing International Covenants on Human Rights (and optional protocol) have not obtained the support of all nations. We also note that there are international conventions on specific aspects of human rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and that these conventions have been adhered to by all the apportioned organizations here represented. We ask our member bodies to review such covenants and conventions with a view to encouraging the non-ratifying governments to signify their adherence thereto.

We proclaim once more that the God who gave us life called us to liberty. We are committed to the teaching of the New Testament concerning the importance of freedom as well as its source (John 8:36; Galatians 5).

Meeting as we are on the Continent of Africa, we are acutely conscious of the need for further progress toward the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, particularly where governments restrict the fundamental freedom of one or more races within their jurisdiction. We appeal to all governments to promptly abolish restrictions of a racial nature including the evil called apartheid and those which restrict freedom of expression freedom of association and freedom of movement.

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. 70.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1982.3 Fundamental Freedoms; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1982.3).

Fundamental Freedoms

Prayer and Concern for the Eastern Part of Europe and the Soviet Union

BWA General Council Resolution 1991.2

THANKFUL to God for the positive changes that have taken place in Eastern Europe and the whole of the Soviet Union, including the increasing freedom experienced in many aspects of the life of these nations,

THANKFUL particularly for those places where greater freedom of religion has been evidenced and new opportunities for evangelization and theological education have been made possible,

MINDFUL however, of the impact that turmoil in this region has upon the whole global community and joining with our brothers and sisters in their concern over the crises and upheavals which have been emerging in the Soviet republics, Yugoslavia and other national and ethnic groups which are striving for independence,

SEEKING to identify with our brothers and sisters in this area in their deep concern over the growing religious intolerance of the dominant historical churches that are failing to recognize that all Christian denominations and religions be guaranteed religious freedom by constitution and be treated with fairness, equality and justice by the majority groups,

THEREFORE, the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting in Montreal, Canada, July 10- 13, 1991, resolves to call upon the world community of Baptists to join in prayer for a peaceful and authentic solution to these political and economic upheavals and to join in prayer for those experiencing religious repression, asking for God’s intervening grace and guidance for the leaders of these peoples at this decisive moment in history.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon the officers of the Baptist World Alliance and its member bodies to communicate to the political and religious leaders these concerns over religious

repression in this region and urge them to honor the standing right of all peoples two equal freedom or religious expression.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1991 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1991.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1991 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1991), p. 37.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1991.2 Prayer and Concern for the Eastern Part of Europe and the Soviet Union; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1991.2).

Fundamental Freedoms

Persecution of Christians

BWA General Council Resolution 1996.1

The General Council meeting in Hong Kong, July 3-9, 1996:

AFFIRMS religious liberty is a God-given human right, not a privilege to be granted or denied by the State; and

OBSERVES that in the twentieth century vast numbers of Christians have experienced persecution, imprisonment and martyrdom and that in some places the Christian faith is restricted or banned; and

LAMENTS that Christian minorities — especially evangelicals — too often face persecution and discrimination as targets of popular hatred; and

DENOUNCES the denial of basic human rights and all religious persecution anywhere in the world; and

URGES governments and churches around the world to uphold the fundamental freedom of religious liberty within their countries as a universal international standard; and

CALLS Christians worldwide to fervent prayer for the constant protection and power of the Holy Spirit in the daily lives of all believers everywhere who may be vulnerable to persecution; and

RECOMMENDS that individually and collectively Christians observe the second Sunday of December as an International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians in connection with the BWA Human Rights Day.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1996 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1996.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1996 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1996), p. 101.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1996.1 Persecution of Christians; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1996.1).

Fundamental Freedoms

Human Rights

BWA General Council Resolution 1997.1

The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance meeting in Vancouver, Canada, July 3-9, 1997:

RECOGNIZES with gratitude that 1998 will mark the 59th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights which has exerted great moral influence in the cause of justice, peace and religious tolerance;

AFFIRMS that efforts in support of human rights depend upon God’s initiative to protect and restore human dignity in a broken world;

LAMENTS that the greatest problem associated with human rights is the lack of full and effective implementation;

OBSERVES with sadness the denial of freedom of expression, religious liberty and other human rights, as well as the existence of child abuse, torture and racism even in countries whose governments are members of the United Nations and are signatories to the Human Rights Covenants;

URGES governments to affirm the universality and inviolability of human rights, and therefore to develop legal systems and practices which conform with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

COMMITS itself to expose and oppose situations involving human rights abuse and denial, and to respond more fully to Jesus’ call to justice, peace and reconciliation;

CALLS UPON the member unions and conventions of the Baptist World Alliance and their local churches to unmask everything that does violence to human dignity and to seek justice for all peoples, especially those who have no voice, no power and no friends.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Lotz, Denton, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1997 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1997.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Denton Lotz, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1997 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 1997), p. 127.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1997.1 Human Rights; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1997.1).

Fundamental Freedoms

Human Rights

BWA General Council Resolution 1977.4

WHEREAS the Commission on Freedom, Justice, and Peace has for a number of years devoted some of its attention to the issues of human rights, we request the Commission to provide the 1978 BWA General Council such summary statement and guidelines as they deem appropriate.

Citations

Original Source Bibliography: Denny, Robert S., editor. Baptist World Alliance 1977 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1977.

Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Robert S. Denny, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1977 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1977), p. 45.

Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1977.4 Human Rights; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.

In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1977.4).