An Anglican bishop from Zimbabwe was today named winner of a Swedish human rights prize for “having given voice to the fight against oppression.”
Bishop Sebastian Bakare was also cited for his work to promote “freedom of speech and of opinion in a difficult political situation.”
He was due to accept the 2008 Per Anger prize at a ceremony in Stockholm on November 10.
On 12 June 1942, Per Anger was appointed attaché to the Swedish Embassy in Budapest. When Germany invaded Hungary in the spring of 1944, he witnessed a dramatic change from relative peace and tranquility to open oppression. The most extreme expression of this oppression was the deportation of the Jewish population to Auschwitz.
Per Anger initiated Swedish efforts to save as many people as possible from persecution and execution. He began by issuing provisional Swedish passports – documents without any formal legitimacy – which functioned as a kind of identity card for the authorities and protected a great many people. This work continued under ever more dangerous circumstances until the Russian army occupied the country. After the war, Per Anger dedicated much of his energy to the search for Raoul Wallenberg….
Past winners of the prize are listed described here.
Update October 30 – Episcopal Life has more.