(RNS) Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a longtime U.S. civil rights activist, have been named recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Each has been an agent of change,” President Obama said of the 16 people who will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor. “Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way.”
Tutu was a leading opponent of apartheid in South Africa, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Lowery, a United Methodist minister who gave the benediction at Obama’s inauguration, co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tutu and Lowery will be honored Aug. 12 along with 14 others, including Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., the late gay activist Harvey Milk, and actor Sidney Poitier.
“Coming from the first African-American president and to be included in his first class, with these outstanding personalities and leaders is very special,” Lowery told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
By ADELLE M. BANKS
c. 2009 Religion News Service
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.
More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton shared a heartbreaking message on social media this week, reflecting on the death of her brother, Michael. “I’m still processing the fact that I will never see or speak to my brother again in this lifetime,” Heaton wrote. Michael Heaton, 66, was a reporter, features writer, and columnist for […]

  A private Christian school in North Carolina has issued an apology letter to parents who were disappointed they were not notified of their children being baptized during a school holiness week event. The controversy started over a week ago when over 100 middle school and high school students of Northwood Temple Academy were baptized. […]

God is magical, and He occasionally allows us to witness His magic. One such video of a rare rainbow pileus (or ‘scarf’) cloud captured in China’s Haikou City is going viral on social media. Several users on Twitter have shared it. The video shows a mesmerizing view of rainbow colored scarf cloud over the city. […]

A Missouri pastor has apologized after a video clip in which he threw a spiritualized tantrum from the pulpit and called his congregation “broke, busted and disgusted” and “cheap sons and daughters” for not “honoring” him with a watch from the luxury brand Movado went viral. The pastor, Carlton Funderburke of Church at the Well Kansas City, confirmed in a video posted […]

Close Ad