18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)
For more than twenty years, the Baptist World Alliance has encouraged Baptist congregations around the world to observe Human Rights Day. The date coincides with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted on December 10, 1948. This year, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will focus on inclusion and the right to participate in public life. The theme draws directly from Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which speak of the right to freedom of expression and opinion, the right to freedom of assembly and association and the right to take part in government, either directly or through freely chosen representatives.
This Dec. 08/09, 2012 you have your chance to be a part of this history of advocacy and worship.
There are many places in the world where these and other rights are threatened today. As people of faith, we believe that there should be continuous encouragement to pray for and act on behalf of all people facing threats and violations of their human rights in different parts of the world.
This year, the BWA particularly calls on all Baptists around the world for a common day of prayer during Human Rights Day for the people of Nigeria, in light of the increasing episodes of violence in northern and central Nigeria, where more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the extremist group Boko Haram since 2010. This environment of violence and fear inhibits individual freedom of expression and the safety to speak out against these injustices.
Our intention is to have the greatest amount of Baptists worldwide observing Human Rights Day as part of their Advent celebration. Please utilize the resources below to shape your own Human Rights Day Worship Service. If your congregation is going to do this, please let our office know so that we can follow up on your worship experience.
Feel free to contact the BWA’s Freedom & Justice Division by phone: +1-703-790-8980, Fax: 703-893-5160 or email: [email protected] if you have further questions/comments/ideas or would like to know of other ways that you can be plugged into the Baptist World Alliance®.
Zo ha kpapka kpe haboka “God calls us to be at one” (Seka, J.)
A ti, Señor te pedimos, a traditional song from Chile ( Span., Port.,English,German & French)
Bambelela “Never give up”, a Xhosa song from South Africa (words in Xhosa and English)
Litany of Justice (© Corrymeela Community, Belfast; adapted)
Litany of Complacency (Loder, Ted)
A Latin American Prayer of Confession and Repentance (Barreto, R. & Barbosa, W.)
Prayer of Confession (based on Psalm 82 and Amos 5) (PCUSA)
Hear the Spirit: Liberation Alongla Aier (2011)
Exiles and Asylum Seekers Ian Cook (2012)
Called to be the One Church Rev. Dr Marianela de la Paz Cot (2012)
Callam, Neville Human Rights and the Baptist World Alliance Pruit Memorial Symposium, Baylor University
Global Platform for Theological Reflection (2009) Praying, speaking out and acting together: Theological Reflection on Advocacy Report Manhasset, New York.
Peck, T. (2011) The Christian Understanding of Human Rights – Difficult Questions: Human Rights – A Baptist Perspective CEC Conference – Bad Boll, Germany
The Vatican (2012). Freedom & Liberation http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19860322_freedom-liberation_en.html
Hear the Spirit: Liberation Clark, Janet (2011)