The Council of the European Baptist Federation adopted a resolution last week opposing unilateral military action and supporting the United Nations.
Meeting in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Oslo, Norway, the council called on its member unions to “oppose any unilateral action against Iraq which does not have the official sanction of the United Nations, and to actively support all UN efforts to avoid violent conflict.” <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
The council resolution requested its unions to “commend the teaching and example of Jesus Christ in always seeking to break the cycle of violence, rather than contribute to it.”
It also called on unions to “reflect on what our Christian faith may teach us about the use and abuse of power in this situation.”
The EBF has 50 national Baptist bodies in 46 different countries in Europe, Eurasia and the Near East with some 775,000 baptized members in 10,600 churches. The largest unions are in Great Britain and Ukraine.
The federation was founded in Switzerland in 1949. “After the bad events of World War II, the founding generation called on Baptist churches to do everything possible for peace and reconciliation,” read the EBF Web site.
EBF works to “promote reconciliation and peace on: the religious level—between the Christian church and other religions; the political level—between churches and their states and governments; the inter-church level—between the diverse Baptist groups.”
The council, which meets annually, invited churches to pray and to use the resolution to speak to their governments.
The resolution reminded EBF members of the September 2001 council resolution which “affirmed the reconciling power of Jesus Christ in the face of violence and the presence of God in a fallen world.”
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