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as others living in Italy are not required to go through the same process.
The GC, in considering the matter, adopted a resolution that originated
out of discussions within the F&J Commission. Among other things,
the resolution “Calls on all leaders within the Baptist World Alliance
to urge representatives of the United Nations, European Union and
national governments to issue a strong protest to the Italian government
against such discriminatory practice and fi rmly request its immediate
Another resolution called on countries to “give shelter to all
refugees; develop transparent and equitable systems of migration that
treat applicants with dignity; administer laws and regulations with
justice and fairness to citizens and immigrants alike; and renounce
xenophobia and the misuse of immigration for political repression and
The same resolution called on Baptists to “instill an ethic of love that
supersedes ethnic, gender and political boundaries; act as advocates for
refugees and migrants in solidarity with them; and develop ministries
of welcoming reconciliation and integration.”
One resolution applauded “the signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding to engage in talks by the leadership of the major political
parties in Zimbabwe.” The resolution invited “the worldwide Baptist
community to pray for the peace of Zimbabwe; for the safety and
security of all people there; and for effective witness to the transforming
power of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Another resolution asked “the leaders of the Baptist World
Alliance to strongly support and encourage government, corporate and
community initiatives to address the causes of human-induced climate
Watershed year
In some respects, 2008 is a watershed year in the life of the BWA.
The GC decided to establish a Division of Freedom and Justice, to be
staffed with a full time director and support staff (see story on page 23).
This division will address concerns such as those of the Roma people,
refugees, displaced persons, and others who experience violations of
their human rights and restrictions on their religious liberties.
Baptist World Aid, the relief and development arm of the BWA, is
to rechannel its resources and energies to become a global network for
Baptists involved in relief, aid, and community development (see story
on page 13).
The report of the Implementation Task Force, a group formed in
2005 to work out the implications of the 21st Century Committee’s
recommendations, was discussed at great lengths in two forums, in the
Executive Committee, and the GC. The GC, which had the power to
(continued on next page)
(Photos: Lorraine Walker, Australia; Delegates at the Annual Gathering; Some members of the African delegation)
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