· Annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance in Turkey ·
“Unity without walls in the Church of God”: these words resounded at the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) held in İzmir, Turkey from 6 to 12 July. The meeting, at which 300 representatives of the Baptist communities participated, was a fundamental point on the road to the 21st Baptist World Congress, scheduled for July 2015 in Durban, South Africa.
In İzmir the Baptists discussed themes central to the life of local communities and for dialogue with other Christians, which is aimed at strengthening the missionary commitment to proclaim the good news. This is why there was discussion on the theological dimension of the Christian mission in the 21st century in relation to the birth of new communities, and there was debate over the definition of educational pathways with which to promote increasingly better knowledge of the Baptist identity. Additionally, there was a lively discussion about the role of Baptists in the defence of human rights, for the affirmation of religious freedom, in the fight against social oppression, against poverty, against sexual discrimination and in campaigns for safeguarding creation against every form of pollution. Themes which Baptists, in various communities, are seeking to confront together with Muslims, in order to find new paths for interreligious dialogue.
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