American Baptists are asked to hold the family of Nelson Mandela in their prayers are this time, after he died on Thursday, December 5, 2013.
“Mandela’s refusal to hate and readiness to reconcile generated not only a political revolution but a moral revolution as well that opened the door for a new reality to emerge from the evil of apartheid. He will be remembered alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., as one of the giants of our age. We are grateful for the way that Dr. Leon Sullivan and ABC National Ministries (now ABHMS) led American Baptists to act in solidarity with Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement by urging US industry to exercise economic sanctions against the apartheid regime. Our prayers are with his family and the nation of South Africa, a people in mourning.”
-Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary, ABCUSA
“The world has lost a hero, a prophet whose life showed us a genuine path to forgiveness and reconciliation, and a leader who exemplified Jesus’ teaching that love overpowers hate. Nelson Mandela’s life also spoke to some of the core values of American Baptist Churches: justice, inclusion, human rights, reconciliation and freedom for all people. May his passing remind us of the words of our Saviour, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ We will hold his family close in our prayers.”
-Rev. Dr. Leo S. Thorne, Associate General Secretary, Mission Resource Development, ABCUSA
In 1994, Mandela was elected president of South Africa in the first completely democratic election in the nation’s history, and Mandela was the first black South African to hold the office. His government focused on undoing the legacy of apartheid through challenging institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation within the country. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela served 27 years in prison.
Readers are invited to submit quotes remembering Mandela to firstname.lastname@example.org. These quotes will be posted below this story and shared with American Baptists and visitor to the ABCUSA website.