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Resolution By Abe C. Jones

To President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of State, Chas. E. Hughes, Washington, D.C.

More than five thousand Baptists, in Convention assembled, respectfully bring to your attention the denial of religious liberty to many thousands of people of our faith, as well as to many other Christians, on the part of the present Russian and Rumanian governments. In both these countries our country, with some measure of generosity, has ministered to the physical wants of multitudes of people in recent years and is still doing so, and we express the hope that our government, which has ever stood for full religious liberty to all peoples, of every faith, may be able to exert such an influence upon the governments of Russia and of Rumania as to bring about a better condition as suggested herein.


WHEREAS, We the representatives of the Baptists of the Southern States of the United States of America, assembled in annual Convention in the City of Atlanta, Georgia, numbering more than five thousand delegates, representing more than three million communicants and a citizenship of more than fifteen million, have learned with pain and deep concern of the continuance and extension of the persecution of our Baptist brethren in Rumania; and

WHEREAS, We have learned upon indisputable testimony that Baptist men, women, and children have suffered great hardships in the form of personal indignities and violence, being publicly ridiculed, fined, arrested, imprisoned, whipped, severely beaten, sometimes into unconsciousness, and suffering many similar painful and humiliating experiences; and

WHEREAS, Baptist children have been refused promotion in schools and have frequently been expelled on account of their faith or that of their parents; and

WHEREAS, In certain districts marriage licenses have been refused to Baptist young people, thus preventing the solemnizing of marriage; and

WHEREAS, The burial of Baptists in cemeteries has been forbidden, making it necessary to deposit the bodies in ground set apart for the burial of animals; and

WHEREAS, In addition to these personal indignities and sufferings which are constantly and apparently growing worse, the churches are greatly hampered and distressed in their work by severely restrictive regulations, by which while worship is allowed the propagation of our faith is forbidden, and hindered in every possible way; worship can be held only in registered and licensed buildings, only Rumania citizens are permitted to preach, and then only in one place thus greatly hindering missionary activities; the churches are required to state the sources of all their funds, and are not allowed to receive aid from abroad; and

WHEREAS, The execution of these restrictive measures are much more severe than the letter of the law, threatening to stop all Baptist growth; in numerous districts the churches have been forcibly closed and the congregation expelled, Bibles have been burned and their distribution forbidden, while the preachers and leaders have been severely mishandled and frequently imprisoned. In short the situation as authentically reported to us has become so distressing as to call for our deepest sympathy and our active assistance.

Therefore Be It RESOLVED, That we regard such an infringement of the fundamental and inalienable rights of humanity as violative of the dearest treasures of modern civilization, such as has not existed elsewhere upon the continent of Europe for many decades, and not in England since the reign of Charles II. It is the revival of mediaevalism in what purports to be a modern state, a state which is proud to be associated with other states where the rights of conscience are recognized as inviolate, and religious freedom is a part of the supreme law of the land.

Under these circumstances we feel constrained to call upon the people and Government of Rumania to grant and guarantee to their fellow Rumanians of the Baptist faith those fundamental rights of conscience which are the crowning glory of the modern world. We appeal to them in the name of humanity, in the name of modern ideals, in the name of religion and righteousness, in the name of fundamental human rights, to put an end to the persecutions of our Baptist brethren in Rumania. Nothing is more futile than persecution, and nothing is more abhorrent to New Testament principle and alien to the modern ideals than the denial of religious freedom. Baptists have ever been noted for their loyalty to Government, their obedience to law, their love of peace and good order, their devotion to liberty and progress. We believe that Rumania now has no more faithful citizens, no more stable and dependable element of population than the Baptists of Rumania. In the name, therefore, of national friendship and good will we appeal to the people and Government of Rumania to grant to our Baptist people the rights of conscience and the freedom of religion.

Resolved further that the President and Secretaries of this Convention be instructed to transmit in such manner as may seem most expedient, to the people and Government of Rumania these Resolutions.