FALLS CHURCH, Va.—Christer Daelander, a Baptist World Alliance representative to the United Nations and religious freedom representative of the European Baptist Federation will receive the 2018 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award.
Daelander—whose nomination was announced to the BWA Executive Committee at its March 7 meeting in Falls Church, Va.—will receive the award during the BWA General Council meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, in July.
Daelander is an official BWA representative to the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, Switzerland, working closely with representatives from the Vatican and other Christian traditions. He has engaged religious freedom issues in Europe, the Middle East and, especially, Central Asia.
Daelander provided firsthand accounts of religious freedom violations in Tajikistan and Azerbaijan to UN Periodic Reviews. He visited Central Asia making contacts with representatives of governments, embassies and organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
In November 2017, Daelander brought together key people from Christian minority communities in Central Asia, offering training and practical tools to defend religious freedom in their own context.
“Christer is a primary example of Baptist commitment to human rights and freedom,” BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown said. “His deep faith in God and his commitment to the church exemplify the liberating power we have in Christ Jesus. We commend him for his loyalty, faith and service.”
The European Baptist Federation praised Daelander for selflessness and faithfulness that have “led to renewed action on behalf of human rights and religious liberty within our community.”
“Christer is doing outstanding advocacy work for human rights in the Uniting Church in Sweden, in the EBF and on the behalf of the BWA,” said Karin Wiborn, general secretary of the Swedish Christian Council.
Established in 2006, the Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award recognizes significant and effective activities to secure, protect, restore or preserve human rights.
It includes all rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other declared rights by UN bodies such as the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the International Court of Justice.
Last year, Cynthia Maung, a medical doctor who devoted nearly 30 years to providing healthcare to refugees living along the Myanmar/Thailand border, received the award. Previous recipients include former President Jimmy Carter and ethicist Glenn Stassen.