Participants in an interdenominational National Black Pastors Conference in Detroit earlier this month adopted a series of resolutions on international issues, including one calling for the deportation of the Shah of Iran "as quickly as possible."
Other resolutions advocated U.S. recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization as "the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," and supported the creation of a Palestinian state.
A position paper adopted by the gathering, which was convened by the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the Congress of National Black Churches Inc., called for a continuing organization of black churchmen. Among the tasks outlined for the organization, which is to have headquarters in Washington, is monitoring of the Ku Klux Klan "as they act out their insanity across this land" and of B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League "as they travel about the country in their desparate efforts to keep blacks out of professional schools."
Of the 1,242 people who took part, between 600 and 700 were pastors and will be involved in the continuing organization, according to George Lawrence, a spokesman for the Progressive National Baptist Convention.
The Rev. Dr. Beecher Hicks of the Metropolitan Baptist Church here, who was one of the officials of the gathering, said that although the conference was convened by the Progressive Baptists, participants included ministers from every denomination, "What they all had in common was their blackness."
Dr. William Augustus Jones Jr., president of the convention, said in a position paper adopted by conference participants that they will "accept our responsibility as free men and women to free our brothers and sisters from the shackles that bind them in a society which we believe to be systematically committed to a slave agenda for our future."
In addition to calling for diplomatic recognition of the PLO, the conference urged Israel to "cease its senseless bombing of refugee camps in Lebanon and its persistent denial of human rights to the Arab inhabitants of occupied territories."
While the gathering urged the Ayatollah Khomeini to release the hostages in the American Embassy in Tehran "in the interest of human decency," it expressed understanding for "the hostility of the Iraian masses toward the former shah and toward the United States, which set him up as a puppet, armed him and trained his vicious Savak secret police force." The resolution did not specify to what country the U.S. should deport the shah.
The black pastors also demanded dissolution of all U.S. ties to South Africa, affirmed solidarity with American Indians, and opposed the construction of any new nuclear plants "so long as there is a thread of doubt about their safety. . ."