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BWA resolves to support immigrants
Baptist World Alliance
August 01, 2008

BWA resolves to support immigrants

BWA resolves to support immigrants
Baptist World Alliance
August 01, 2008

Washington,

D.C. — In a resolution

passed at a meeting in July, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council declared that “we are

all fellow sojourners in this world and that our treatment of the immigrants in

our midst is central to authentic scriptural faith.”

Council members call on all Baptists to “renew their scriptural

study, academic understanding and prophetic proclamation of the scriptural

mandate to live in love and justice with refugees and immigrants.”

Noting that, globally, there are more than 67 million refugees and internally

displaced persons (IDPs), and more than 191 million international migrants, the

Council urged Baptists to “freely share resources with those in

need … instill an ethic of love that supersedes ethnic, gender and

political boundaries,” and to “act as advocates for refugees and

migrants.”

The resolution came against the background of escalating tensions in

different parts of the world where refugees and migrants experience increasing

levels of discrimination and violence. Paul Msiza, General Secretary of the

Baptist Convention of South Africa, apologized to members of the Council for

the ethnic violence against migrant workers in that country in May.

Concern was expressed about the treatment and state of IDPs in Myanmar, and the Roma people in Italy,

for whom a special resolution was also passed. The General Council, the highest

decision making body of the BWA outside of the Baptist World Congress,

“Laments that the Italian government, without objection of the European

Union, is practicing the involuntary fingerprinting of all Roma people within

its borders, including children, which we regard as ethnic profiling.”

Council members hoped that the BWA will take action to bring the state

of refugees and migrants to the world’s attention, and to make intervention

at the levels of the United Nations and with individual governments.

Members of the Council voted unanimously to establish a BWA Division of

Freedom and Justice, which will address these and other justice concerns.

The General Council met during the BWA Annual Gathering that was held

in Prague in the Czech Republic

from July 20-25.