Baptists worldwide are called to pray for global justice on the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Human Rights Day on Dec. 11.
On that special Sunday, Baptists will pray and campaign for the most basic human rights of all the right to life in all its fullness, according a statement on the BWA website.
This year, under the strong outcry of MakePovertyHistory around the world, the BWA Human Rights Day has specifically reminded Baptists to have concern over global poverty. BWA expressed concern over the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including halving global poverty by 2015, according to the statement.
BWA commented that the achievement of these goals "remains a distant dream," while the gap between the rich and poor is widening and many cry for freedom and justice.
In face of the challenges in the world, BWA encouraged Baptists worldwide to affirm that "the coming of Christ is a message of hope and healing to a broken and suffering world."
Based on the scriptural confession that "each human life is made in the image of God", BWA prompted the Baptists worldwide to defend "human right to life and to liberty," BWA reported
BWA has prepared a power-point presentation and some worship materials for the prayer day, now available to be download on its official website. Baptist congregations across the world are recommended to observe the day with worship services.
The BWA Human Rights Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of December every year. It has been over 20 years since its declaration. In fact, the date meaningfully coincides with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed on Dec. 10, 1948.
According to BWA, human rights, including religious freedom, have always been at the forefront of the work of the alliance. It has fought for religious freedom in Eastern Europe before the fall of Communism and in many other countries where the government oppressed believers.
The BWA Human Rights Award was set up to honor the Baptists who have showed significant and effective activities to secure, protect, restore or preserve the human rights in the world. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was a recipient of the award in 1995.