Baptist World Alliance

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The Baptist World Alliance is a worldwide alliance of Baptist churches and organizations, formed in 1905 at Exeter Hall in London during the first Baptist World Congress.

History[edit]

John Newton Prestridge, editor of The Baptist Argus, at Louisville, Kentucky, in his publication in 1904, called for a world gathering of Baptists. John Howard Shakespeare, editor of The Baptist Times and Freeman, London, endorsed the proposal.[1][2][3] In October 1904, the Baptist Union of Great Britain passed a resolution to invite a Congress to meet with them in July 1905. At the Congress, a committee was formed, which proposed a Constitution for a World Alliance. A Constitution was adopted, containing the following preamble: "Whereas, in the providence of God, the time has come when it seems fitting more fully to manifest the essential oneness in the Lord Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour of the Churches of the Baptist order and faith throughout the world, and to promote the spirit of fellowship, service and co-operation among them, while recognizing the independence of each particular church and not assuming the functions of any existing organization, it is agreed to form a Baptist World Alliance, extending over every part of the world." Membership was opened to "Any general Union, Convention or Association of Baptist Churches", and it was decided that the Alliance would "meet in general assembly ordinarily once in five years, unless otherwise determined by the Executive Committee". Three leading personalities involved in the organisation included Prestridge, Shakespeare and Alexander Maclaren (who served as provisional President).

Organizational structure[edit]

Currently, the Baptist World Alliance brings together 210 Baptist groups representing over 47 million baptized believers in more than 200 countries.[4] The group's stated goals are to: "(1) To Unite Baptists Worldwide; (2) To Lead in World Evangelization; (3) To Respond to People in Need; and (4) To Defend Human Rights."[5]

The Alliance is divided into six regional or geographical fellowships: North American Baptist Fellowship, Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (formerly Asian Baptist Federation), All-Africa Baptist Fellowship, Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, Union of Baptists in Latin America, and European Baptist Federation. Each regional fellowship is served by an Executive Secretary.

Ecumenical relations[edit]

The Baptist World Alliance maintains ecumenical relations with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. One series of International Conversations between the BWA and the Catholic Church took place from between 1984 and 1988 moderated by the Reverend Dr David T. Shannon, sometime President of Andover Newton Theological School, and the Most Reverend Bede Heather, Bishop of Parramatta. In 2000 and 2001 preliminary consultations for a second series of conversations were held, leading to formal meetings between 2006 and 2010. The current Co-Moderators are the Reverend Paul Fiddes, DD, Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Oxford and formerly Principal of Regent's Park College, Oxford, and The Most Reverend Dr Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson.[6]

Statistics[edit]

About 42,645,873 Baptists are affiliated to BWA out of a total of about 110,000,000 Baptists in the World.

Africa[edit]

There are 36,100 Baptist Churches in Africa reporting 10,283,925 members. In some countries statistics date from 2011, but in others are as old as 2004. Countries with largest Baptist communities are

  • Nigeria (10,261 churches and 3,526,184 members),
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (3,799 churches and 1,951,618 members)
  • Uganda (2,406 churches and 1,528,593 members),
  • Kenya (3,500 churches with 800,000 members)[7]

Asia Pacific[edit]

There are 31,306 BWA affiliated churches in Asia-Pacific reporting 5,356,124 members. Countries with largest Baptist communities are:[7]

Country Nr of Baptist Churches Members
Australia 953 62937
Bangladesh 974 55734
Cambodia 391 15312
Fiji 14 1600
Hong Kong 159 88124
India 15253 2553858
Indonesia 680 140976
Japan 436 24752
Korea 2508 774259
Macau 6 750
Malaysia 177 23352
Myanmar 4858 927169
Nepal 130 16000
New Zealand 243 22968
Papua New Guinea 465 80000
Philippines 2851 430290
Singapore 36 10000
Sri Lanka 26 6100
Taiwan 212 37426
Thailand 458 54517
Vietnam 476 30000

Caribbean[edit]

In this region, there are 2,036 Baptist Churches affiliated to BWA reporting 248,702 members. Largest communities are in:

  • Bahamas with 272 churches reporting 75,083 members
  • Cuba with 861 churches reporting 58,999 members
  • Haiti with 466 churches reporting 67,440 members
  • Jamaica with 322 churches reporting 40,000 members

Central America[edit]

In this region, there are 2,589 Baptist Churches affiliated to BWA reporting 156,700 members. Largest communities are in:

  • Mexico with 1,800 churches and 70,000 members
  • Guatemala with 311 churches and 44,059 members
  • Nicaragua with 206 churches and 25,000 members

Europe[edit]

The year is the year of the statistic data regarding the number of Baptist Churches and members.

Country BRAZIL Year Churches[7] Members[7] Total population number of baptists
/ 100,000 citizens
Armenia 2011 150 4,850 3,262,200 149
Austria 2011 26 1,519 8,458,023 18
Azerbaijan 2011 22 3,000 9,356,500 3.2
Belarus 2011 312 13,884 9,462,400 147
Belgium 2011 26 972 11,139,292 9
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2011 5 200 3,839,737 5
Bulgaria 2011 128 5,150 7,364,570 70
Croatia 2011 50 2,000 4,290,612 47
Czech Republic 2011 40 2,332 10,513,209 22
Denmark 2011 55 5,412 5,602,628 97
Estonia 2011 85 6,057 1,294,455 468
Finland 2011 32 2,345 5,399,090 43
France 2011 119 6,519 65,605,000 10
Georgia 2011 75 5,085 4,469,200 114
Germany 2011 884 88,571 81,946,000 108
Hungary 2011 309 11,512 9,957,731 116
Italy 2011 112 4,277 60,870,745 7
Latvia 2011 88 6,539 2,070,371 316
Lithuania 2011 8 363 2,976,100 12
Moldova 2011 481 19,604 3,559,500 551
Netherlands 2011 77 10,606 16,778,806 63
Norway 2011 89 5,619 4,985,011 113
Poland 2011 83 4,871 38,538,447 13
Portugal 2011 71 4,700 10,562,178 44
Romania 2011 1969 107,626 19,043,767 565
Russia 2005-2011 2,047 91,690 143,300,000 64
Serbia 2011 83 2,683 7,241,295 37
Slovakia 2011 24 1,974 5,445,324 36
Slovenia 2011 7 160 2,055,527 8
Spain 2011 150 10,850 47,265,321 23
Sweden 2011 192 16,609 9,555,893 174
Switzerland 2011 12 1,091 8,014,000 14
Ukraine 2011 2,382 125,509 45,560,251 275
United Kingdom 2011 2,590 155,891 63,181,775 247
Uzbekistan 2011 60 2,735 29,559,100 9
TOTAL 12,843 732,805 762,524,058 96

Middle East[edit]

This region has 99 churches affiliated to BWA with 6,300 members.[7]

North America[edit]

  • Canada has 1,384 churches with 196,588 members
  • USA has 79,011 churches affiliated to BWA with 23,621,780 members. The Southern Baptist Convention is not affiliated to BWA and has 16,000,000 members.

South America[edit]

South America has 14,152 BWA affiliated churches with 2,042,949 members.

10,748 churches with 1,816,949 members are in Brazil.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lord, Townley F. (2007). Baptist World Fellowship: A Short History Of The Baptist World Alliance. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-548-44182-0. 
  2. ^ Wardin, Albert W. (ed.) (1995). Baptists Around the World: A Comprehensive Handbook. Broadman & Holman. ISBN 0-8054-1076-7. 
  3. ^ Leornard, Bill J. (1994). Dictionary of Baptists in America. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-1447-7. 
  4. ^ "Organizational Structure of the BWA". Baptist World Alliance. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  5. ^ "About BWA". Baptist World Alliance. Retrieved 2009-08-11. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Baptist--Roman Catholic International Conversations". Centro Pro Unione. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Statistics provided by Baptist World Alliance

External links[edit]