Baptist Churches Around the World to Celebrate Human Rights This Weekend


Baptist churches around the world will focus worship services this weekend on the biblical demand to stand up for human rights.

The Baptist World Alliance, an organization of 235 member bodies representing 45 million Baptists around the globe, sponsors Human Rights Day each year on the weekend nearest the anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948.

This year’s theme, to be observed Sunday, Dec. 11, and in churches that worship on Saturday, Dec. 10, encourages global Baptists to be “living witnesses” of Proverbs 31:8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Darrell LaRue Armstrong, the BWA’s chief administrative officer at the UN, called it a theme “embedded in the fiber of the day.”

“Loosely and swiftly stated, the theme is standing up for your rights and helping others to do that,” Armstrong, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, N.J., said in a recent BWA podcast.

“In places around the world, how do we promote civil society, religion and faith-based NGOs, governments, world religions and different denominations to be the voice of this?” said Armstrong, a BWA representative to the UN for three years named to the top spot in March.

“I like to say the least, the last and the lost,” Armstrong said. “Jesus was very clear about us, one, putting others before ourselves and, two, praying for our brothers and sisters, but also taking action.”

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SOURCE: Baptist News Global
Bob Allen