BWA Presents 2022 Human Rights Award

BWA Presents 2022 Human Rights Award

(BIRMINGHAM, AL – July 17, 2022) 

On the final day of the 2022 Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Annual Gathering, the BWA presented the 2022 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award to Daniel L. Buttry. Established in 2006, the annual award is given by the BWA for significant and effective activities to secure, protect, restore or preserve human rights.

Considering himself a “Peace Warrior,” Buttry has devoted his life to conflict transformation, nonviolence, and peacebuilding. A Baptist pastor, denominational leader, and missionary, he is a global advocate in the ministry of reconciliation.

“Thank you so much for this very special award,” said Buttry. “I am humbled especially as I worked with Denton Lotz on a major Baptist body mediation, and as I have worked closely with some other awardees, especially Wati Aier, Gustavo Parajón, and Glen Stassen. I am honored to be in their company.”

Receiving the award in Birmingham was a meaningful experience for Buttry with a poignant connection to his participation in a Baptist Peace Fellowship gathering years before.

“The last time I was in Birmingham was on the 30th Anniversary of the Birmingham chapter of the Civil Rights Movement. In our Baptist Peace Fellowship gathering, we met Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the leader of the struggle in this city and the one who invited Dr. King here,” said Buttry. “I have a photo that has been over my desk since then of Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy, and Fred Shuttlesworth leading a march in their ‘going to jail’ clothes. As you know, Dr. King ended up arrested and penned his amazing ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ not far from here. You could say these brothers have been among that great cloud of witnesses inspiring me as I’ve run my leg of the race.”

Buttry has facilitated mediation efforts around the world, especially in Myanmar and India. From 1989-1992, he served as the only non-Burmese citizen of the Burma Peace Committee which mediated between the military government and the ethnic insurgent groups. He also headed a team of international peacemakers from USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Thailand that supported the peace process in Myanmar.

Since 1996, he has worked to bring about peace for the Nagas in northern India and northwest Myanmar. He mediated between warring Naga insurgent groups that resulted in an informal cease-fire and a Covenant of Reconciliation. He trained Naga leaders in negotiation so they could enter into political talks with the Government of India, and worked with Naga NGOs, churches, and civic organizations to develop a nonviolent peace movement called “The Journey of Conscience” which changed the public dynamics of the conflict between the Nagas and the Indian Government.

In addition to his mediation work, Buttry has had significant global impact as a trainer and mentor. He has led trainings in each of the six BWA regions around the world, reaching from Bolivia to Bosnia and Ukraine to the United States. Traveling to more than 35 countries, he has helped individuals, churches, and communities pursue peace through Gospel-centered conflict transformation and interfaith mediation. This legacy of training and equipping was further solidified by Central Seminary with the launch of The Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence in May 2018. The Buttry Center’s mission is to theologically engage, educate, and connect people of faith in seeking justice, nurturing peace, and caring for creation.

“So many of God’s people invested in me, and it has been a joy to invest into the rising generations of leaders, especially Baptists but many other Christians as well as people of other religions. Human rights, peace, and justice are not Baptist matters alone. They are human matters, and – if we look at Jesus – they are God’s matters as well,” said Buttry. “So my hope and joy is to see a bit of what some of these younger leaders are already doing in the areas of peace, justice, and human rights. They are doing amazing work around the world, and someday some of them might stand before the BWA to receive this very award.”

Buttry has authored numerous books on peacemaking, lectured and preached extensively, and helped organize three global Baptist peace conferences. He has helped build a more just and peaceful world through his role as Global Consultant for Peace and Justice for International Ministries of American Baptist Churches, on staff with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, and as a founder of Interfaith Partners in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Throughout his ministry, he has given honor to the many people who have served alongside him, most notably his wife Sharon who has co-labored with him for many years.

“I thank my wife Sharon who easily could have been a co-recipient of this award with me,” said Buttry. “Sharon has been my companion on the journey of faith and service for over 50 years, including some of our global peace and justice work.”

The award selection process was led by BWA Awards Committee Chair Thomas Klammt, Committee Vice-Chair Fernando Brandão, and committee members Kwame Adzam, Samson Fatokun, Pau Khan Khai, Sylvester King, Harry Lucenay, MDR Mayuranjana, Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, Lina Sawan, Vee Tetseo, Elijah Wanje, and Anslem Warrick.

To submit a nomination for the 2023 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award, visit


BWA Presents 2022 Human Rights Award

BWA General Council Approves Four Resolutions

(BIRMINGHAM, AL – July 16, 2022) 

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council approved four resolutions during their final session of the 2022 Annual Gathering. The first two resolutions addressed the state of war, violence, and political unrest in the countries of Ukraine and Myanmar and the latter two arose in response to the Gathering’s racial justice focus. 


The first resolution condemned the “unprovoked and unjustified invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine by Russia” and called upon the “European union, G7, and other intergovernmental entities to redouble their efforts to support Ukraine.” It also included commendation for the “humanitarian and spiritual resources of the All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christian-Baptists, and the Baptist unions and other Christian groups in neighboring countries for their generous hospitality, humanitarian aid, and spiritual help for refugees, supported by the European Baptist Federation, the BWA Forum on Aid and Development (BFAD), and the generosity of the global Baptist family.”

Earlier in the week, attendees heard a report from BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown outlining the outpouring of support in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Over $4 million USD has been raised, which has enabled 1 million displaced Ukrainians to be served by the BWA Baptist family. Global Baptist leaders have also engaged in peace advocacy through the United Nations as well as strategic meetings with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Members of Parliament, and other key leaders since the invasion. During the General Council, Igor Bandura – a Vice President of the Ukrainian union – shared that it is “a time of struggle, but our hope is in God. As Christians, we take our part. We continue to minister to our nation. We continue to bring the message of reconciliation and hope.”


Vernette Myint Myint San, President of Asia Baptist Women’s Union, also shared about the struggles of her homeland of Myanmar. Violence has continued to escalate since the military coup in February 2021, leading to suffering she witnessed firsthand while serving along the Thai-Myanmar earlier this month. Council members responded with a moving time of prayer for the two leaders as well as the people of Ukraine and Myanmar. A second resolution in response to the violence in Myanmar condemned the coup, called for the “establishment of a true democracy that respects the rights of religious and ethnic minorities,” and assured prayer and support for Baptists and other people of goodwill helping in persecuted communities and among displaced persons.


In response to racial hostilities globally and the Gathering’s thematic focus, the BWA resolutions committee penned a third resolution on restorative racial justice. The resolution acknowledges that the global issue “demands a renewed commitment to the enduring principles of racial justice and human freedom, based on the fundamental theological conviction that all people are created in God’s image and thus deserve to be treated with respect and justice and enjoy flourishing freedom.”

The resolution recognized that there are “countless examples of racial prejudice on every continent, including the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and their land.” Baptist entities were encouraged to “exercise their prophetic responsibility” and to “refrain from participating in racially oppressive systems.” The resolution concludes with a recommendation that all Baptists study The Birmingham Statement of Restorative Racial Justice, a resource created by the BWA Racial Justice Action Group and approved by the Executive Committee on July 9.


As an outworking of the Birmingham Statement, the fourth resolution “acknowledges important local, national, and global conversations about chattel slavery, its enduring generational impacts, and the possibilities of reparations to repair the damage for wealth stolen from centuries of forced labor.” The resolution also affirmed “the biblical basis for reparations,” recognizing that the “economic, political, psychological, and spiritual impacts of chattel slavery and the transatlantic slave trade did not end but continue(s) to impact many communities and nations today” – including many BWA member bodies. 

Several Council members shared feedback before voting, dialoguing about the theology of reparations and its congruence with the biblical concepts of the Year of Jubilee, grace, and forgiveness. 

“The year of Jubilee was violated for the entire existence of chattel slavery because we created a hereditary system – a lifetime enslavement that was passed on. I don’t think we can jump to the forgiveness step before we have first made amends for centuries of Jubilees that have been ignored,” said Brian Kaylor, BWA Resolutions Committee Chair.

The resolution vote carried, which was met by applause throughout the auditorium. 

“I want to say something about this moment,” said Karl Johnson, BWA First Vice President. “I learned from Lee Spitzer [BWA Historian] that this body has passed some 60 resolutions dealing with racism and racial justice in the past, but not one has ever been passed on the subject of reparations. Today is a historic day in the life of the Alliance.”

Access to the full resolutions is available by clicking the images below. To access historic resolutions, visit


Baptist World Alliance Launches Global Evangelism Initiatives

(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, USA – April 29, 2022) Compelled by the Great Commission, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) has a longstanding commitment to evangelism, rooted in the call to live out Gospel witness in every place and among all people groups in partnership with other believers. In response to this call and in collaboration with GoDecade, the BWA Executive Committee has declared the month of May as Evangelism Emphasis Month, guided by the axiom that “every Baptist is a witness.” Throughout the month, Baptists worldwide are urged to focus on united prayer and personal evangelism with a prayer for every Baptist to lead at least one person to Christ. Baptists are also encouraged to engage in community outreach with a long-term vision of ongoing discipleship.

“The call for increased evangelization is as urgent today as when Jesus issued the Great Commission to his disciples and – by extension – the church,” said Everton Jackson, Director of Integral Mission. “Evangelism is central to the mission of God, and it is the vocation of the Church to share the good news of Christ for the sake of the salvation of the world and the renewal of creation.”

To begin the strategic evangelism focus, the BWA is launching its inaugural School of Evangelism from April 29 through May 1 in partnership with Caribbean Baptist Fellowship. Offered virtually and guided by the theme “Making Disciples Together,” this initiative will be rolled out in the other five regions of the BWA by 2024. School of Evangelism objectives include:

Affirm the whole Church’s calling and gifting to bear witness to Jesus Christ.
Emphasize the whole Gospel of Christ as the power to transform lives and communities.
Highlight the whole world as the object of the triune God’s redemptive mission.
Create space for Baptists to learn from one another and to mobilize the global Baptist family for greater intentional holistic evangelism.

“We are proud to take the lead in this essential and relevant program, and we hope to set the tone and the pace for the other BWA regions,” said Anslem Warrick, Executive Secretary – Treasurer of Caribbean Baptist Fellowship. “The School of Evangelism is really a recognition of our mission as God’s people who have been recipients of God’s love and grace. This is a reflection of our commitment to respond to the call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord to reach the whole of humanity in the whole world with the whole Gospel.”

The event includes an opening and closing worship celebration featuring prayers, Scripture readings, and musical contributions from throughout the region as well as a series of keynote messages, Bible studies, and testimonies from Baptist leaders around the world.

“From Genesis to Revelation, God invites us to join him in his holistic mission around the world. We are invited to live with Gospel intentionality from our neighborhoods to the nations,” said Elijah Brown, BWA General Secretary & CEO. “In a world where there are still three billion people who are unreached with the good news of Jesus Christ, I encourage all Baptists to join us in this global commitment to Gospel witness.”

To learn more about the School of Evangelism initiative, visit


View a special invitation to participate in Evangelism Month from Everton  Jackson, BWA Director of Integral  Mission
Click to view a special invitation to participate in Evangelism Month from Everton Jackson, BWA Director of Integral Mission.
Click to find out more about the Baptist World Alliance School of Evangelism Initiative.
Click to find out more about the Baptist World Alliance School of Evangelism Initiative.

Executive Committee Releases Statement on Ukrainian Crisis

(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, USA – March 25, 2022) In conjunction with its Executive Committee meetings conducted this month, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Executive Committee has released a joint statement in response to the crisis in Eastern Europe. This is the first statement of its kind released by the Executive Committee in over 40 years.

The statement begins: “As the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance, a Christian Worldwide Communion in 128 countries and territories representing 176,000 churches and 51 million Baptists, we stand together as a worldwide Baptist family that draws upon 400 years of shared history and denounce the violence in Ukraine.”

The Executive Committee is comprised of leaders from each of the BWA’s six regional fellowships, including BWA President Tomás Mackey (Argentina), First Vice President Karl Johnson (Jamaica), thirteen Vice Presidents from around the world, as well as BWA General Secretary and CEO Elijah Brown.

The statement continues: “Today we affirm again our love for all people across this region, renew our commitment to enter into the sufferings of humanity, and stand in the belief that all conflicts and differences can be resolved peacefully. We exhort all people and all governments to stand together in these affirmations and to use every avenue to pursue just peace.”

In addition to the joint statement, the BWA is engaged in human rights advocacy at this critical time, including meetings at the United Nations and with government leaders in the United States, Ukraine, and Romania. Baptist World Aid continues to mobilize a global humanitarian response through the Baptist World Alliance Forum for Aid and Development and in collaboration with European Baptist Fellowship, one of the six regional fellowships of the BWA.

Visit to access the full statement and additional information about the global response to this crisis.


Click to read the BWA Executive Committee statement in its entirety.

BWA Presents 2022 Human Rights Award

Baptist World Alliance Participates in UN Prayer Service


As part of the Baptist World Alliance’s ongoing commitment to pray for peace in Eastern Europe, BWA leadership participated in a multi-faith prayer meeting entitled “Global Prayers for Ukraine: A Multi-Faith Service for Peace and Freedom in a Hurting World” at the United Nations (UN) Church Center Chapel in New York City, NY, USA, on Thursday, March 3.

Igor Bandura, Vice President of the Ukrainian Baptist union and a BWA General Council Member, was able to join the UN meeting virtually to share an update on the current situation on the ground in Ukraine and to express gratitude to those who are praying around the world.

As the BWA continues to work with partners across Eastern Europe to provide aid and relief for those affected by the war, we also continue to mobilize the global Baptist family to pray.

“It’s the number one request we’ve received from Baptist leaders in Ukraine and across the region – to pray for the cessation of war and the restoration of peace and communities that flourish together,” said BWA General Secretary Brown. “It’s been remarkable as we visited with leaders in Russia, Ukraine, and across the region. They are united in one spirit – pray for peace.”

Baptists are encouraged to visit to access additional prayer resources.


Let the Nations Pray

BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown speaks at a multi-faith prayer service at the United Nations Church Center Chapel on Thursday, May 3, 2022. The service theme was “Global Prayers for Ukraine: A Multi-Faith Service for Peace and Freedom in a Hurting World.”
Photo Credit: Isaac Humphrie

Video #1: General Secretary Elijah Brown shares an important update during his visit to the United Nations this week.
Video #2: An update from the “Global Prayers for Ukraine” prayer service at the United Nations. (Video Production: Good Faith Media)