Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Phone: +1 703 790 8980
Fax: +1 703 893 5160

July 30, 2010
For Immediate Release
Lotz receives BWA Human Rights Award
Honolulu (BWA) -- Denton Lotz, former general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, has been presented with the 2010 Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Quinquennial Human Rights Award on July 30, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The award, given every five years during the Baptist World Congress, was conferred upon Lotz for a lifetime of commitment to human rights concerns. Lotz was BWA general secretary for 19 years from 1988 until his retirement in 2007, and served the organization for a total of 27 years.

Lotz was described as an "outstanding Baptist leader", a "persistent human rights campaigner," a "courageous advocate," and a "visionary." The former BWA leader was recognized for having placed human rights at the heart of the concerns of the Baptist global organization. He initiated the move to create the BWA Division of Freedom and Justice to address issues of human rights and religious freedom and to coordinate the relationship between the BWA and the United Nations.

He was also lauded for initiating or leading human rights visits to several countries, meeting a number of world leaders to discuss issues of human rights in their respective nation.

In 1999, Lotz helped plan an International Summit of Baptists against Racism in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, leading to the "Atlanta Covenant" that called on Baptists to become agents of reconciliation and work for integrated worship, holistic evangelism, and the elimination of unfair trade and protection of the rights of aboriginal and tribal peoples. He helped guide the BWA in declaring a decade to promote racial justice, beginning in 2000.

Prior to that, in 1993, the former missionary led the BWA in the formation of a Special Commission on Baptists against Racism and Ethnic Conflict and guided the BWA in producing the Harare Declaration in Zimbabwe where Baptists pledged to expose and challenge the sin of racism.
Described as a "friend of the needy" and "servant of the people," the graduate of Harvard Divinity School in the United States and the University of Hamburg in Germany was declared to be a "champion of the poor and oppressed."

Previous recipients of the BWA Quinquennial Human Rights Award included former United States President Jimmy Carter in 1995; Saw Simon, founder and principal for the Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School and College in the Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Myanmar border in 2000; and Lauran Bethell, a global consultant for International Ministries for American Baptist Churches USA in 2005.

The BWA also awards a yearly Human Rights Award during the BWA Annual Gathering.  First awarded in 2006 it is named the Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award.