Maston Lecture at DBU Features Dr. Raimundo Barreto

Dr. Raimundo Barreto, Director of the Division of Freedom and Justice for the Baptist World Alliance
Dr. Raimundo Barreto, Director of the Division of Freedom and Justice for the Baptist World Alliance

Dallas Baptist University hosted the T. B. Maston Lecture Series on Wednesday, October 24, featuring Dr. Raimundo Barreto, Director of the Division of Freedom and Justice for the Baptist World Alliance.

Dr. Barreto has been the Director of the Division of Freedom and Justice since 2010. Through this division, the BWA addresses issues of human rights and religious freedom and coordinates the relationship between the BWA and the United Nations, where the BWA holds membership in several UN agencies. Barreto is the first person to fill this position, which was created in 2008 by the BWA General Council at their meeting in July of that year in Prague, Czech Republic.

Dr. Barreto shared about the persecuted church around the world during his messages at the University's Chapel service and at a faculty and staff luncheon. He shared stories of persecuted Christians from around the world -- Nigeria to Pakistan and Liberia to Myanmar.

According to Dr. Barreto, approximately 200 million Christians are enduring persecution today. However, "persecution is not new within the life of the church," he shared. "It was a dominate experience of most of the people in the Old and New Testaments."

He reminded those in attendance of the encouragement in 1 Peter 4:13, "But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."

Dr. Barreto shared that Christians are called to carry each other's burdens, to give up on a "world-savior complex," and engage the world with the Gospel. "God turns situations of oppression and persecution into an opportunity for growth," he expressed.

An ordained Baptist pastor since 1993, Barreto holds a doctoral degree in Christian Social Ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary as well as degrees from the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and from the North Brazil Baptist Theological Seminary in Recife, Brazil. He also studied at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic.

Prior to joining the BWA, Barreto was the pastor of Igreja Batista Esperanca (Hope Baptist Church) in Salvador, Bahia state and worked as General Coordinator for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Social Ethics in Brazil. He has held additional appointments in church and community organizations.


Married to Eliã, a nurse who worked in public health, Barreto is the father of two sons, Caio and Cauã, and a daughter, Luana.

The T. B. Maston Lecture Series was established to provide funds for Baptist schools throughout Texas to host leading Christian thinkers as they address various ethical topics from a Christ-centered perspective.

Maston was a devoted family man, beloved seminary professor, and respected voice on ethical issues within the Southern Baptist Convention. Known for his compassion and strong ethical convictions, Dr. Maston spent his career teaching Christian ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was known for his work in a variety of areas, including family life, character formation, church and state relations, and Christian vocation.

Written by Kalie Lowrie

Kalie Lowrie was the former Director of News and Information at Dallas Baptist University.