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Freeedom & Justiceedom & Justice
BWA establishes division for
embers of the General Council of the BWA voted the BWA Commission on Freedom and Justice continued
unanimously at its meeting in Prague, Czech to advocate for a full time director who would “devote his
Republic, in July to create the BWA Division of or her time to pressing human rights concerns around the
Freedom and Justice (F&J). world.”
The division, established on September 1, will address BWA General Secretary Neville Callam stated that “we
justice issues, particularly those related to human rights and can no longer delay taking the action that we believe God
religious freedom. requires of us,” and brought the proposal to establish the
Responsibilities of the division include making division to the General Council in Prague.
representation when Christians, especially Baptists, are Callam said that the new division “will increase our
arrested and imprisoned on false charges, maintaining a ability to uphold those in places in the world where men,
stream of information on the progress of work in the area of women, and children are oppressed, where churches are
freedom and justice, and strengthening the BWA’s presence closed by force and church leaders arrested, where the
as a Non-Government Organization at the United Nations. dispossessed are ignored and marginalized, starved, and left
The proposal to establish the F&J division was fi rst to die from treatable diseases.”
made in 1999. The 21
Century Committee, established to Julie Justus, who previously worked in Baptist World
examine the state of the BWA and to make recommendations Aid, is the fi rst appointed member of staff of the F&J
for the future of the organization, urged the BWA in its 2005 division. She will be joined by a full time director when that
report to pay keener attention to justice issues. Members of appointment is made.
Christians Attacked
in Orissa
Christians were the targets of violent
attacks in the state of Orissa in eastern
India beginning on August 23.
In response to the persecution, Baptist
World Alliance (BWA) General Secretary
Neville Callam said, “Unfortunate events
have taken place in Orissa in recent days.
These began with the senseless killing of
Hindu Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on
August 23. I am disappointed by the false
claim that Christians have responsibility
for this murder and I am saddened by the
atrocities being visited on Christians in
Vishwa Hindu Parishad religious lead-
er Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and
four of his associates were murdered in the
Evangelist Rev. R.K. Digal and his family take shelter in the Relief Camp, Raikia
Kandhamal District of Orissa on Saturday,
(photo by Abhiram Keshari Singh)
August 23.
(continued on next page)
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