World Baptist Congress Issues Manifesto Urging Abolition of Religious Discrimination

A manifesto calling for the abolition of religious discrimination throughout the world was issued here last night by the World Baptist Congress. The manifesto was adopted unanimously by 20,000 delegates representing 18,000 Baptists in 52 countries.

The manifesto gave support to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and urged all nations to ratify the covenant designed to legalize this document. It appealed to the United Nations to bring before the bar of world opinion any nation or territory now under the domination of any one particular religious force–whe ther Islam, Roman Catholicism or Protestantism–which refuses to abide by the Declaration of Human Rights both in spirit and in practice.

“We believe every person has the right to express his religious beliefs in worship, teaching and practice without moral, social, or political penalties,” the manifesto says. Urging Baptist churches throughout the world to lead in the proclamation and practice of religious liberty, the manifesto says:

“We appeal to Protestant state-churches and other churches which hold a dominant position, to cherish and promote the principles of religious liberty, granting to Roman Catholics, Jews and members of other religious groups, and to those who acknowledge no religious faith, the same rights and privileges which they demand for themselves without discriminations or disabilities.” The manifesto also appeals to Communist countries to “cease their policy of discrimination against religion.”

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