Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
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
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.