American Baptist Bill of Rights

Here is the key part of “The American Baptist Bill of Rights,” unanimously approved at the 1939 annual sessions of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Northern Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention.

Believing religious liberty to be not only an inalienable human right, but indispensable to human welfare, a Baptist must exercise himself to the utmost maintenance of absolute religious liberty for his Jewish neighbor, his Catholic neighbor, his Protestant neighbor, and for everybody else.

Profoundly convinced that any deprivation of this right is a wrong to be challenged, Baptists condemn every form of compulsion in religion or restraint of the free consideration of the claims of religion.

We stand for a civil state, “with full liberty in religious concernments.”


from The Christian Citizen Vol 1, 2007, “A Publication of National Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA”

[The “Northern Baptist Convention” later changed its name to “American Baptist Churches;” so the title of this resolution means something like “Bill of Rights of Baptists in America.”]

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