By Bob Allen
The European Baptist Federation council pledged solidarity with persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East in a resolution approved at a Sept. 24-27 gathering in Bucharest, Romania.
The resolution “deplores as evil the aggression and actions of extremist groups and prays for an end to all current violence and hatred throughout the Middle East.” It says the path to achieving peace and freedom from extremism “is through justice, development, human rights and rule of law.”
One of the six regions of the Baptist World Alliance, the EBF is comprised of approximately 770,000 Baptists in 52 unions and conventions and seven affiliated churches and networks across Europe and in the Middle East.
The EBF, founded in 1949 to unite European Baptists as Europe emerged from the devastation of World War II, also passed a resolution recalling “with sorrow” the 100th anniversary of “the sacrifice, slaughter and human suffering which was a result of the First World War.” The resolution challenged Baptists in all regions of the world “to work for peace under the lordship and rule of Jesus Christ.”
The council also adopted a Baptist World Alliance resolution adopted in Izmir, Turkey, at its annual gathering in July on the current political crisis in Ukraine.
It encouraged the work of Ukrainian Baptists in reaching out to those most affected by the conflict and urged “the leaders and churches of the Baptist unions of Ukraine and Russia to overcome prejudice and misunderstanding in the situation, to seek to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15) to each other, and to continue to work together in partnership toward a common vision of mission and the growth of the Kingdom of God in their region.”