Bad Urach Statement
There are different types of theologies of cross in liberationist, Roman-Catholic, Orthodox and other streams of Christianity that have varying degrees of influence on the evangelical movement. Much can be learned from their insights and concerns. Simultaneously evangelicals need to clarify where at times they hold different paradigms and positions on particular issues in order to be better conversation partners. Therefore 24 participants from at least 18 different countries of origin and residence met from 16-18 September 2009 in Bad Urach, Germany, for a consultation on ‘Developing an evangelical theology of suffering, persecution and martyrdom for the global church in mission’. More people participated in an electronic discussion forum. This was organized by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, sponsored by the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, together with the Theological Commission and Mission Commission, and the Lausanne Theological Working Group in preparation towards the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, Cape Town 2010. As an outcome of their consultation the participants want to send a message to the whole body of Christ and to their fellow evangelicals in particular. It comes from some of those evangelicals from different parts of the globe and various contexts who have possibly most advanced in formulating an evangelical theology of suffering, persecution and martyrdom. It is not addressed from ‘the West’ to ‘the rest’, or ‘from traditional sending countries’ to ‘mission fields’, nor from the ‘non-persecuted’ to the ‘persecuted’. It has rather been designed by evangelicals from contexts with various levels of persecution reading the Bible together, sharing their own contextually relevant theologies, and considering some of Christian theology and tradition together.