WHEREAS, Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity in which one ethnic group expels members of other ethnic groups from towns and villages it conquers in order to create an enclave for members of their ethnic group; and
WHEREAS, Genocide is a crime against humanity in which one group dehumanizes and murders members of another people group—whether national, ethnic, or religious—with the intent to destroy that group completely; and
WHEREAS, In various parts of the world genocide and ethnic cleansing are being perpetrated by both recognized governments and other militant groups; and
WHEREAS, American troops have been deployed in peace-keeping and human-relief missions, risking their lives for the sake of refugees where ethnic cleansing and genocide have occurred; and
WHEREAS, The Bible teaches that all human beings are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), and therefore possess essential dignity as a gift from their Creator; and
WHEREAS, The scriptures also teach that it is wrong to murder (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 20:13); and
WHEREAS, Genocide and ethnic cleansing are particularly reprehensible crimes because God made ““very nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26); and
WHEREAS, The twentieth century has been characterized as “a century of mass murder” and has witnessed human atrocities on a scale heretofore unseen.
Be it therefore RESOLVED, that we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 15-16, 1999, in Atlanta, Georgia, declare our abhorrence of those governments and militant groups which support and commit such malicious violence; and
Be it further RESOLVED, that we strongly urge the United States Congress, NATO, the United Nations, and other multinational bodies, to take immediate action to bring an end to those regimes which are guilty of crimes against humanity and to bring to justice those persons who are responsible for these heinous acts; and
Be it further RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to pray for, support, and encourage the victims of these injustices as well as those groups and agencies working to bring peace and alleviate suffering among the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing; and
Be it further RESOLVED, that we pledge our continuing support and prayer for our dear Baptist brethren and other evangelical Christians in their faithful witness under difficult circumstances; and
Be it further RESOLVED, that we express our deepest gratitude to those courageous and faithful American military personnel who have served their nation and the world in the attempt to bring peace and relieve human suffering; and
Be it finally RESOLVED, that we encourage neighboring countries to provide places of refuge for exiled individuals and families, in the hope that these refugees may be resettled in their homeland soon.