BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1974-08.4
Ronald Goulding reported that a copy had been received from Ronald Watts of Canada of a resolution on “Torture and Human Rights” that had been passed by the Baptist Convention of Ontario at their General Assembly. Since this is one of several resolutions already received on the subject of religious liberty and human rights,
MOTION by Ronald Goulding was seconded, and passed
EC74 that this resolution (from Baptist Convention of Ontario) be acknowledged with appreciation and put with those already received, and others expected to come, and referred to the Resolutions Committee to be appointed at the 1975 World Congress, and presented at the Congress as one general resolution.
BWA; Human Rights; Torture.
Original Source Bibliography: Denny, Robert S., editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Louisville, Kentucky, August 6-9, 1974. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1974.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Robert S. Denny, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee Held at Louisville, Kentucky, August 6-9, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1974), p. 54.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1974-08.4 Resolutions Submitted by Outside Groups; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1974-08.4).
BWA General Council Resolution 1977.6
The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of almost 29 of the 33 million Baptists in the world. They represent many nations and widely differing cultures and ways of life and thought. It is neither within its power nor its function to direct, or rule on the internal affairs of the political or economic procedures of its constituent bodies or of their countries.
However, it is the duty as well as the privilege of its members to speak out on religious liberty and other matters of common spiritual and moral concern. Our primary purpose is to bring persons everywhere into a redemptive and transforming relationship with Christ, but we believe also that we are to seek to involve all Christians individually and collectively, in bringing the Christian gospel in all its fullness to bear on every aspect of human society. We are not only to give the Gospel to all the world, but we are to relate it to all of life.
We reaffirm that war is an unChristian way of seeking to settle international problems and disputes. We rejoice in the good reports from the World Conference of Religious Workers for Lasting Peace, Disarmament, and Just Relations Among All Nations, held in Moscow in June 1977. We support the ideals and stated purposes of such conferences wherever held and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to participate and provide leadership to the end that tensions may be relaxed and peace established.
We believe in dignity and justice for every individual. We express good wishes to the Helsinki Final Act n Conference being held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and urge the delegates to that conference to promote further the fulfillment of all the articles of the Helsinki Final Act.
We hold that prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, or color are inconsistent with the Gospel and wrong in the sight of God.
We deplore and condemn violence, torture, looting, rioting and the taking of hostages, and voice our sympathy with all victims of these disorders.
We affirm our commitment to religious liberty. We deplore the persecution of Christians and others by government agencies or religious bodies wherever it occurs. The Baptist World Alliance General Council voices grave concern and charges its officers to give all possible aid and support to persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
We believe that it is not God’s will that people should live in poverty and wretched conditions and die of hunger or neglect.
We admonish our fellow Christians to strengthen the church which is the body of Christ to serve those who are in need.
In our churches we must give sound instruction in Christian faith, and practice, encouraging self- discipline and responsible conduct. We must foster also the patient study of the complex causes of disorder in society and conflict between communities and nations.
By spiritual, dynamic, and earnest effort, we must strive for peace and the binding up and healing of wounds. We, therefore, urge all Baptists to work toward the elimination of sinful inequalities and injustices in society, seeking in their common service for Christ to secure for every person the opportunity to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and to enjoy the spiritual and material blessings our Heavenly Father has made possible.
To this end we would commend the various agencies and means of relief of hunger and want, especially those of our constituent bodies and of the Alliance.
We appeal to our people in every nation to seek through their own governments and through the United Nations to give effective expression to their concern, and to lake through proper channels all possible steps for achieving just and lasting peace. We call upon them, and indeed upon all people of goodwill, to work and pray individually and collectively for justice, freedom, stability and peace, realizing that over us all hangs the awesome threat of nuclear war.
It is our firm conviction that our Lord Jesus Christ alone is our hope of justice, reconciliation, and peace; therefore, we welcome and commend all efforts to make the Gospel known to all.
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), pp. 46- 48.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1977.6 Message to Baptist Churches Throughout the World; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1977.6).
BWA General Council Resolution 1983.4
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.
As we meet with this concern for the human rights of all people, we come with special concern for the growing evidence of tragic violations of human rights in today’s world, including Central and South America. The forces of subversion and repression are responsible for the kidnapping, torture and illegal detention, including the displacement or death of more than a million people from their homes and families. We urge all parties to this subversion and repression to move from the battlefields to the negotiation tables, to seek sincerely to achieve peace with justice and to bring an end to these violations of human rights.
As we meet and enjoy the hospitality of the Republic of Argentina and its people, we support the commitment of the Argentine Government to hold elections on October 31 and to move to the establishment of civil government. We are aware of the desire of the Argentine people to achieve stable self-government with freedom and respect for human rights and congratulate them on this bright prospect. We especially appreciate the openness of Argentina in receiving Baptist World Alliance delegates from all member nations.
Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1983 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1983.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1983 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1983), p. 63.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1983.4 Human Rights: A Statement of Concern; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1983.4).
BWA General Council Resolution 1984.7
- We reaffirm the fundamental Christian convictions expressed in Resolution 1983.4 of the Baptist World Alliance, adopted in July 1983 in the Republic of Argentina, namely that “human rights are God-given and that violations of human rights are violations of the laws of God.”
- We observe with deep concern the proliferation of the violations of human rights in this decade and particularly the practice of torture in today’s world. According to a recent authoritative report, torture is used or tolerated by more than a third of the world’s governments.
- At the same time as we are grateful for the renewed spirit of evangelism among Baptists, we are convinced that Baptist action for human rights, a corollary of evangelism, is still largely insufficient. We affirm our conviction that, as Christians, we are called in all things and circumstances to witness to Jesus Christ as the light and hope of the world. Since we recognize that torture is incompatible with the nature of the human person as created in the image of God, we declare that the use or tolerance of the practice of torture is totally inconsistent with the call of Jesus to responsible discipleship (Matt. 5:44; 7:12; 22:37-40).
- We moreover declare that it is a fitting and proper expression of the sovereignty of God through Jesus Christ over our lives to speak forthrightly and to take action against torture.
- We, therefore, call on Baptists of this Alliance, who number more than 34 million, to: 5.1 make a personal decision to oppose torture in its various manifestations;
5.2 condemn torture as incompatible with the teaching of Christ Jesus who commanded that enemies be loved as well as neighbors (Matt. 5:44 & 22:39) and that persons would be treated as we would desire to be treated (Matt. 7: 12);
5.3 urge not only denominational bodies and local churches in our respective nations, but also national and international ecumenical organizations to make public their opposition to torture;
5.4 seek and disseminate information on continuing violations of human rights through the practice of torture with a view toward remedying those situations;
5.5 encourage the incorporation in national and international laws of effective prohibitions against torture;
5.6 support organizations that work for the abolition of torture;
5.7 visit the detained and imprisoned (Matt. 25:36), especially those who may be subject to torture and provide assistance to their families;
5.8 struggle for the establishment between nations or political groups of those conditions of understanding and confidence in which the use of torture and all forms of violence will diminish or cease; and
5.9 pray earnestly that the witness of Christians throughout the world may have a transforming effect on both those who are engaged in the practice of torture and those who comply — passively or actively — with such practice.
Original Source Bibliography: Claas, Gerhard, editor. Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Gerhard Claas, ed., Baptist World Alliance 1984 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Washington, DC: Baptist World Alliance, 1984), pp. 88-89.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 1984.7 Human Rights: A Call to Action Against Torture; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 1984.7).