WEA Religious Liberty Commission Policies

The policies of the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission are described in this document.

Contents:

    » Definition
    » Preface
    » A. Finance
    » B. Audiences
    » C. Media and channels
    » D. Style
    » E. Verification
    » F. Security
    » G. Relationships
    » Further Information

Definition

A "policy" is a statement that gives a standard answer to a recurrent question that an organization faces.

Preface

The controlling principle in formulating these policies is that they might always be consistent with the glory of God.

The policies will aim at three kinds of results likely in practice to be in the following order of achievement: palliative, curative, preventive. All three should be kept in view for the long term.

A. Finance

Will be the financial policies of WEA unless in any particulars, such as security, there need to be special arrangements.

B. Audiences

  1. The ultimate audience are the oppressors and the result desired is that they may be influenced to change their ways. This may mean that they are exposed, but exposure is not the primary aim.
  2. An important audience is the oppressed and the result desired is that they may be relieved and in the short term encouraged.
  3. The immediate publics are likely to be Governments, the WEA constituency, the general public and other Christian publics.

C. Media and channels

The medium or channel selected will be that which is most appropriate to achieve the desired change in the oppressor. The public media should not be thought of as a first but as a last resort.

D. Style

This refers to the manner, bearing and attitude of our people as well as the content of our communications.

  1. These will be controlled by a strong commitment to the whole truth, honesty about ourselves as well as about those whom we address and transparent integrity.
  2. Our dealings will be controlled by respect for people as made in the image of God and for their values within their own worldview eg the importance of "honour" and family and filial loyalty.
  3. The approach will be relational. This means that, where possible, we will speak to people before we write either to them or about them and we will speak privately before we speak publicly.
  4. We will not be abrasive, strident, derogatory or given to exaggeration. Nevertheless we will be firm and ready to confront when necessary.

E. Verification

  1. Steps will be taken to be as fully informed as possible before acting.
  2. A bank of reliable "sources" will be built up in various specialities and geographical areas.
  3. A minimum level will be set of regular reading of appropriate journals, research reports and literature for staff at different levels to ensure that basic information is always current.

F. Security

  1. It will be an overriding principle that no action be taken or words spoken or written without the consent of those affected, that would endanger life or liberty.
  2. The level of publicity for any story will be determined by those in the context concerned.
  3. Securely locked offices and files will be maintained by all in the network.
  4. Secure file handling and maintenance procedures will be introduced and monitored and secure computer systems installed in any database that is developed.
  5. A system of security levels will be developed and maintained in all correspondence and mailings.
  6. Levels of discretion and, where necessary, codes will be developed for correspondence and telephone conversation and all staff trained in these, especially all new staff. Special care will be taken in the use of names of people.
  7. Particular care will be taken to ensure that the praying constituency is educated to understand the need for discretion in the way information is given for prayer purposes. A level of contentment with anonymity about persons and countries should be inculcated.

G. Relationships

  1. National Evangelical Alliances (NEAs) will develop and maintain good personal relationships with all national and regional NEFs so that when occasion arises it is easy to communicate and reach agreement to appropriate courses of action.
  2. NEFs will cultivate good relationships and an understanding of appropriate personnel and procedures of other Christian and secular organizations who might need, on occasion, to act together.
  3. NEFs will seek to establish and maintain the following beliefs as expressed in the European Convention:
    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion and belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
    2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Further Information

Further information about these policies and their implementation can be obtained by contacting the Religious Liberty Commission at wearlc@worldea.org.

Last modified:
Tuesday, April 20, 2004