Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

Callam on Mandela’s Passing

Baptist World Alliance Logo
Callam on Mandela’s PassingFormer South African President Nelson Mandela who died December 5, 2013 The worldwide community mourns the passing of President Nelson Mandela, the first Black leader of democratic South Africa.

As a citizen of Jamaica, the first country in the world to impose a trade embargo against apartheid South Africa – that was in 1957, when my country was still a colony of Britain – , as one who was privileged to serve on the team of United Nations observers at the 1994 elections, when Mandela was elected as South African president, and as general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, which fosters respect for human dignity and celebrates contributions made by all who work tirelessly for the triumph of peace with justice, I offer praise and thanks to God for the gift to humankind that President Mandela was.

respect for human dignity and human rights. We cannot afford to forget the unbounded passion for freedom, the relentless striving for justice and the unshakeable commitment to peaceful human coexistence that Mandela exhibited.

Let us take time to ponder the legacy of this great world leader and let us be prepared, whatever the cost, to devote our lives to loving our neighbors, forgiving our enemies, and pursuing all that makes for justice and peace in our communities.

With the passing of this great man, the world has lost a remarkable emancipator. Mandela blazed a trail of

May God give strength to Mandela’s family members and to the people of South Africa in this moment of incalculable loss.

Almighty God, you are the one who gives and who takes away. You draw near to us in our times of joy and of sadness. May we experience your peace during these days and may we also learn the many lessons Mandela’s life is meant to teach us. Amen.

Neville Callam
General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance

December 6, 2013

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.