Rev. Elias Apetogbo, General Secretary, All Africa Baptist Fellowship, spoke after Dr. Dawari George's virtual presentation on the GFN Pilot Project.

21Wilberforce Launches Global Freedom Network Pilot Project

21Wilberforce announced the launch of the Global Freedom Network (GFN) pilot project in Africa during the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) meeting in Norway last month. 21Wilberforce’s President Randel Everett and Executive Director John Gongwer gave an overview of the vision, objectives and intended outcomes for the network including plans for eventual expansion to other regions of the world. Key leaders from the Baptist World Alliance, including BWA President Tomás Mackey, BWA General-Secretary Elijah Brown, and All Africa Baptist Fellowship General Secretary Elias Apetogbo also spoke of the urgent need for this response network to address the ongoing religious freedom challenges in Africa.

21Wilberforce Executive Director John Gongwer

Africa, like many regions, is a hotbed of religious tension and intolerance leading to violence, killings and displacement of communities. The GFN is a fresh opportunity to address these challenges. Africa Ambassador and Lead, GFN Project Africa, Dr. Dawari George, outlined key plans for the project that will work with regional and national teams throughout Africa to coordinate collaborative information sharing, support impact-focused decision making, and help mitigate religious freedom threats faced by Baptists and other groups.

So what exactly does the GFN do? Intelligence and analysis: To provide actionable and customized intelligence, and analysis from Africa to support informed policy/action by governments, external authorities and local faith communities in Africa. Knowledge and training: We will provide knowledge and training to address potential threats, while providing systems and procedures to respond to these threats.

Who are those who will need and use these GFN resources?  Global network leaders, national stakeholders, external decision makers and local and international policy government clients.

So who should be involved?

1. Any one who is passionate about the protection and promotion of Religious Freedom across Africa. You don’t have to be in the council to be involved.

2. Denominational leaders, pastors, church leaders and church members

3. Lawyers, Rights advocates, media practitioners etc

4. Political Leaders

❖ Executive ❖ Legislature(key) ❖ Judiciary

5. Researchers and those in the academia

6. Young people(Emerging leaders) desiring to chart a new career path in Religious freedom advocacy.

7. Community leaders at the lowest level( Rural communities)

8. Traditional and natural Leaders

9. Community people – Traders, Artisans, etc

Learn more about Global Freedom Network and how you can get involved by reading Dr. Dawari George’s presentation here.