PTS trustee and alumnus Darrell Armstrong was recently named to serve on a team of individuals to represent the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) at the United Nations. He joins a fellow PTS graduate, Raimundo Barreto, in that role. Barreto, a Brazilian-born Baptist clergyman who earned a Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary in 2006, is the director of the Freedom and Justice Division of BWA. Barreto manages his denomination’s witness at the UN.
The Baptist World Alliance is the largest denominational group of Baptists in the world, representing sixteen different Baptist conventions or associations globally. BWA holds special consultative status with the United Nations through the UN Economic and Social Council and the Conference on Non-Governmental Organizations (CONGO). In their role with BWA, Armstrong and Barreto will advise the body on BWA positions on human rights, freedom of religion, and sustainable development.
“These are issues that I have always cared about as a pastor,” says Armstrong, who is pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, New Jersey, and graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1999. “I am happy to be able to be a voice for how to promote religious tolerance in places in the world where it is not well promoted. I remain deeply committed to the global call to promote tolerance and freedom of religion denominationally, ecumenically, and inter-religiously.
“I am also very happy that PTS is a voice in the world on issues of justice. As it says in Acts 1:8, we can’t be satisfied to only minister locally, but to ‘the ends of the earth.’ With other denominational offices, we can reach out internationally and ecumenically through the United Nations about issues that affect the human family.”
Barreto says he has been “proud to work with other Princeton Seminary graduates and faculty through BWA.” Like Armstrong, Luiz Nascimento (Ph.D., 2012) was also a voluntary UN representative for BWA. Former professor Peter J. Paris has been on the BWA advisory committee and spoke at an event about NGOs in consultative status with the UN in 2011. And former professor Luis Rivera-Pagán serves on both the Commission on Social and Environmental Justice and the Commission on Baptist and Muslim Relations.
Armstrong looks forward to attending meetings of UN committees, and hopes that his new role will in a small way increase Princeton Seminary’s scope of influence by embracing and working with global ecumenical partners like BWA.