University of Basel awards honorary doctorate to Pastor Hans Lutz

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The Faculty of Theology honors Pastor Hans Lutz (center) with the award of an honorary doctorate by Dean Prof. Moisés Mayordomo; on the right in the picture is the Rector of the University, Prof. Andrea Schenker-Wicki. Photo: Christian Flierl/University of Basel

Great honor for former Mission 21 employee, Pastor Hans Lutz. He received an honorary doctorate at the Dies Academicus 2023 of the University of Basel. Hans Lutz has worked for the Basel Mission and then for Mission 21 in Hong Kong for over 50 years. He is now being honored for his tireless commitment to social justice as part of this work. Mission 21 is delighted with this well-deserved recognition.

At this year's Dies Academicus of the University of Basel, on Friday, November 24, 2023, Pastor Hans Friedrich Lutz received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Theology of the University of Basel for his decades of service in Hong Kong. Hans Lutz traveled to Hong Kong as early as 1968. He worked for the Basel Mission and subsequently for Mission 21 in various areas as a "tireless bridge builder in global Christianity" and "impressively highlighted the relevance of the Christian message for social justice", as the laudation states.

His commitment was always in favor of the rights and dignity of disadvantaged people, especially workers. In the 1970s and 1980s, Hans Lutz helped to establish an independent trade union movement and contributed to the enactment of laws to protect workers through successful public relations work, advocacy lobbying and international networking.

Commitment to workers in the jewelry industry and domestic workers

Since the 1990s, Hans Lutz has used his contacts to raise the issue of poor working conditions for Chinese employees in an international context. One of the results of this was that a Chinese jewelry manufacturer was excluded from the Baselworld trade fair.

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Tobias Brandner, Mission 21 employee in Hong Kong, in conversation with Hans Lutz during a visit to Mission 21 in Basel in July 2021. Photo: Christoph Rácz/Mission 21.

There are also abuses in Hong Kong in the area of commercial domestic work. There are currently around 300,000 women from South East Asia, mainly from Indonesia and the Philippines, working as domestic workers in the metropolis of millions. Hans Lutz initiated projects to support these women, offering them legal advice and medical and psychological support. Mission 21 continues these projects, including a shelter that offers accommodation and support to abused or abducted women.

Pastor Hans Lutz has now received this year's honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Basel for his work. He is also being honored for combining his commitment with theological reflection and thus contributing to the development of an independent Asian liberation theology. Mission 21 is delighted with this well-deserved recognition and congratulates him wholeheartedly.

► Documentation on all seven honorary doctorates 2023 of the University of Basel (pdf)

► Article on the awarding of honorary doctorates on the website of the University of Basel

►Mission 21 projects for women affected by violence in Southeast Asia

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