FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS




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  1. Why did you postpone?

The BWA closely monitored the Covid-19 pandemic across the world and undertook a comprehensive assessment of the 22nd Baptist World Congress. The decision was made in light of various government decisions, reviewing information from healthcare experts, staying in communication with the BWA regions, assessing possible impacts / restrictions on travels, liaising with multiple BWA partners (most especially with Baptist leaders in Brazil), and negotiating with the venue in Rio de Janeiro to develop a strategy and solution for moving forward.

  1. Who decided to postpone?

The decision to postpone the Congress was made by the BWA General Secretary in consultation with the BWA President, First Vice President, Treasurer (both incoming and outgoing officers), the BWA Executive Committee, Congress Director, Congress Committee Chair, the BWA Women’s Department, Men’s Department and Youth Department,  the Union of Baptists in Latin America General Secretary, and the leadership of the Brazilian Baptist Convention, Convention of Independent Baptist Churches, and the National Baptist Convention.

  1. What are the new dates for the congress?

The 22nd Baptist World Congress has been rescheduled for July 7-10, 2021.

  1. Why was the Congress postponed for a whole year?

In order to ensure that the Covid-19 global pandemic has passed, the BWA has decided to postpone until July 2021. This decision was also made based on the availability of the conference location. It also takes advantage of the fact that the majority of the BWA’s 240 member bodies schedule their annual meetings outside of July in order to enable participation in the BWA.

  1. Has the congress location been moved?

No. The 22nd Baptist World Congress will still be held at:
Riocentro Convention & Event Center
Av. Salvador Allende, 6555 - Barra da Tijuca
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22783-127, Brazil

  1. Will the congress in 2021 still include the youth as planned in 2020?

Yes. Youth (ages 13-30) will still have a dedicated program during the Congress. There will also still be activities for children ages 3-12.

  1. What does the postponement mean for Global Conference for Baptist Women?

The Global Conference for Baptist Women will now be held Saturday, July 3 to Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

  1. I registered for 2020 and want to attend in 2021. What do I do?

You are all set. We look forward to seeing you in July 2021. Thank you for your commitment and support of the BWA Congress.

  1. I registered for 2020 and am not sure I can attend in 2021. What do I do?

We hope that you will be able to join us in July 2021. If you decide later that you are not able to attend, the deadline for cancellation is March 31, 2021. We understand that cancellations are sometimes unavoidable and are committed to work with you to ensure it is a smooth process. In light of this unforeseen change, we have reduced the cancellation fee to US$25. The fee reduction serves to mitigate the financial impact on registrants while still enabling the BWA to cover the unalterable costs we incur to process cancellations. To do so, please complete this cancellation form  and send it to: Congress@bwanet.org.

  1. I registered for 2020 and cannot attend in 2021. What do I do?

We regret that you are unable to join us in July 2021, but we understand that this is unavoidable in some cases. We encourage you to consider donating your registration fee to the Congress scholarship fund or transfer your registration to another individual. To do so, please complete this cancellation form  and send it to Congress@bwanet.org.

  1. Why is there a US$25 cancellation fee?

In light of the unforeseen global impact of COVID-19 and a desire to limit the impact on the members of our global Baptist family, we have cut the original cancellation fee of US$50 in half. The fee reduction serves to mitigate the financial impact on registrants while still enabling the BWA to cover the unalterable costs we incur to process cancellations.

  1. I hadn’t registered for 2020 and want to come in 2021. What do I do?

We welcome you to register today! Please register online. We have extended the early bird deadline to March 31, 2021.

  1. My group registered for 2020. What do we do?

We know that coordinating a group can be difficult, especially with this postponement. Please contact Carolina Mangieri, Congress Director, at meetings@bwanet.org and she will assist you in navigating the change.

  1. My Ministry/Organization/Group have applied to be an Exhibitor/Sponsor of Together 2020. What do I do?

We hope that your Ministry/Organization/Group is still interested in participating in 2021. Please contact communications@bwanet.org for further details. 

  1. I already made a hotel reservation for 2020. What do I do?

We have contacted our hotel vendor, Blumar Congress and Events, and they are aware of the postponement of the 22nd Baptist World Congress. As we receive information related to the rebooking and cancellation processes, we will make it available on BWARio.org.

  1. I already bought my air tickets for 2020. What do I do?

Many airlines are making concessions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We encourage you to contact your airline directly about changing your flight.

  1. If I have personal travel insurance is this event canceled?

Yes. A new contract has been signed with new dates for July 7-10, 2021.

  1. I already signed up for a mission opportunity for 2020. What do I do?

Mission opportunities will still be available before, during, and after Congress. The mission opportunities website will be updated as information becomes available. Information will include how to change your commitment to serve in 2021 if you previously signed up for a mission opportunity.

  1. I already booked a tour for 2020. What do I do?

We have contacted our hotel vendor, Blumar Congress and Events, and they are aware of the postponement of the 22nd Baptist World Congress. As we receive information related to the rebooking and cancellation processes, we will make it available on BWARio.org.

  1. My creative arts group applied to participate in 2020. What do I do?

We hope that your group is still interested in participating in 2021. Please contact rio2020arts@bwanet.org.

  1. Can I get an updated invitation letter?

Yes. Revised invitation letters will be sent out at the beginning of 2021. Please check the expiration date of your passport and ensure that it will be valid 6 month after the end of the Congress. If your passport will expire before, please email congress@bwanet.org with the new passport number and expiration date to update your letter accordingly. We appreciate your patience.

  1. The new officers are installed at the Congress. Who will be the BWA President for 2020-2021?

The 2020-2025 officers, led by incoming BWA President Tomás Mackey, will commence service at the end of July 2020. We will hold a special time of dedication for all 2020-2025 officers in July 2021. At the Congress, we will also thank the 2015-2020 officers, led by current BWA President Paul Msiza.

  1. The General Council meets every July. Will there still be a General Council meeting in 2020?

Details about a virtual July 2020 General Council meeting will be communicated directly to General Council members.

24. Why are the new dates of the Congress Wednesday to Saturday? Wasn't the Congress originally scheduled for Wednesday-Sunday? 

With the postponement of the Congress, we reevaluated the schedule with our partners in Rio and with the Congress Committee. With their support, we decided to condense the program by half a day. We still look forward to hearing from the same number of speakers and enjoying the same opportunities to worship TOGETHER. To see the new schedule, click here.

25. How else is the BWA responding to Covid-19?

The BWA is providing a key leadership role among the Baptist family including offering pastoral care with conventions and unions around the world, leading global prayer initiatives, offering aid grants to impacted areas, and monitoring emerging human rights challenges.

26. How can I further connect with the global Baptist family?

Stay connected with a global family that has grown 31% in the last ten years by receiving weekly prayer updates, following the BWA on social media, or giving to support evangelism and mission, pastoral training, human rights, as well as aid and community development.

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