Adventist Peace & Justice News Review

We've gotten behind in posting Adventist P&J news, so here are a number of article titles and excerpts for your weekend review:

Jonathan Duffy Visits Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh (Adventist News Network, 15 December 2017)

President of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Jonathan Duffy, recently visited Cox Bazar, Bangladesh to get an eye witness account of the Rohingya refugee crises.  To date, more than 62,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh.

Duffy spent two days visiting three refugee camps, including Nayapara, Leda and the biggest camp, Kutupalong, meeting with hundreds of Rohingya refugees who were affected. He also joined ADRA’s emergency response team in Bangladesh to help distribute much needed food items throughout the camps.  

Religious Liberty Leaders Meet in Italian Senate (D. Romano, Adv News Network, 14 December 2017)

On Wednesday, November 15, the third edition of the “Days of Conscience and Freedom” took place in the Parliamentary Hall of the Senate Library in Rome, Italy. The convention was designed to make institutional and religious figures aware of the themes the magazine "Coscienza e Libertà" (Consciousness and Freedom) examines and records in depth. The magazine promotes a more diffused cultural and political awareness about values, such as the secularity of institutions, along with the defense and promotion of the rights of religion, conscience, and citizenship. Coscienza e Libertà is the official publication of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (Aidlr). 

Adventist Region Takes Position Against the Death Penalty (Adventist Today, 11 December 2017)

Based on a report from the denomination’s Biblical Research Institute (BRI), Adventists in the eight nations that make up the South American Division have announced that believers should not support the death penalty. The report reviews Bible texts that some Christians believe support the application of the death penalty by governments.

The topic has caused considerable debate among Adventists in some areas, although most nations in Latin America do not use capital punishment except in time of war. The BRI is a global agency of the denomination, not a regional entity. Throughout its history the Adventist Church has issued official statements against war and euthanasia, and in favor of noncombatancy, and opposition to the death penalty is in line with its teachings.

Commentary: Current Tax Reform Efforts in the US Could Negatively Impact Adventist Educators (Dwayne Leslie, Adv News Network, 12 December 2017)

Tax reform is the main topic of discussion these days in Washington, D.C., as lawmakers attempt to provide a historic revision of the United States tax structure. However, a provision in the recently passed House of Representatives tax bill, if ultimately enacted into law, would negatively impact Adventist educators at all levels. The Seventh-day Adventist Church educational system is the second-largest Christian school system in the world and it operates 852 schools and employs 8,174 teachers in North America. 

Union College Receives Nebraska Service Award (Maren Miller, Adv News Network, 11 December 2017)

Every year Union takes one day off from classes to send students into the Lincoln community and volunteer. Project Impact has been a part of Union’s campus life since the 1980s. This year, because of Project Impact, Union received the Step Forward Award in the volunteer group category from ServeNebraska.

Adventist Pastor Admitted to the Jamaican Supreme Court Bar (Nigel Coke, Adv News Network, 11 December 2017)

Omar Oliphant, created history in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica by becoming the first ordained minister to become an attorney-at-law. He was admitted to the Jamaican Bar on Dec. 7, 2017, in a ceremony held at the Jamaican Supreme Court in Kingston.

Adventist Leaders Call for International Cooperation to End Abuse of Refugees in Libya (Bettina Krause, Spectrum, 5 December 2017)

Recent video evidence of an active slave market in the North African country of Libya has focused international attention on what has, until now, been a largely unpublicized human rights tragedy, says a Seventh-day Adventist Church spokesperson. 

“What this video reveals is the shocking and ruthless exploitation of vulnerable human beings; refugees who are desperately seeking an escape from poverty and violence,” says Nelu Burcea, who is the Adventist Church’s liaison to the United Nations and an associate director of its Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) department. “Our church joins those who are calling for concerted international action to end this immense human rights disaster in North Africa.” 

Andrews University Addresses Care for LGBT Students (Adventist Today, 5 December 2017)

Andrews University posted a statement titled Confidential Care Group for LGBT Students to its website on December 5. The statement was framed as a way to respond to “questions about sexual orientation and gender identity that have arisen on our Adventist campuses.”

Church Leaders in Middle East Respond to Egypt Mosque Attack (Chanmin Chung, Adv News Network, 27 November 2017)

Rick McEdward, President of the Middle East and North Africa Union of the Seventh-day Adventists, strongly condemns the atrocious terrorist attack that took place on 24 November 2017, on Al-Rawdah mosque during Friday prayers in the town of Bir al-Abed in Sinai, Egypt.... “Our Adventist Church family wishes to convey our sorrow to the families that have lost loved ones in this sad event,” he added. “Our prayers are with the families and with all Egyptians during a difficult time. May God be with you all.”

In Inter-America, Adventist Church Continues to Assist Affected Families across the Caribbean (Libna Steves, Adv News Network, 20 November 2017)

Hundreds of cleaning kits are being sent to hurricane stricken islands in the English Caribbean territory this week, thanks to donations recently sent into Miami by the Adventist Community Services in the Allegheny East Conference in Pennsylvania and the Columbia Union in Maryland. Some 1,615 buckets filled with disinfectant and cleaning supplies will go to St. Thomas for distribution in Anguilla, Tortola and St. John, as well as Dominica and Antigua for residents of Barbuda, church leaders said.

ADRA Continues to Assist Victims of Earthquakes in Mexico (Libna Stevens, Adv News Network, 20 November 2017)

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Mexico continues to assist hundreds of families affected by the earthquakes which struck several states in September, toppling buildings, killing dozens, destroying homes and leaving many homeless.

ADRA Mexico will have assisted some 13,000 people who distributed food baskets in dozens of communities in the States of Morelos, Puebla and Mexico City, at the end of this month, according to César Hernández, ADRA Mexico director.

Street Children, Refugees and Adventist Youth Integrate in Community Choir Project (Igor Mitrović, TED News Network, 16 November 2017)

Songs such as ‘Mouse got the flu’ and ‘Empire of friendship’, filled the air in the ADRA Serbia Community Center just five kilometers outside central Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday afternoon, 9 November. The concert was organised by the Raspevano svratište(Singalong Shelter) children's choir singing for and with their friends. It is made up of children who live and work on the streets of Belgrade.

The concert also featured two other children’s choirs, the ADRA Community Choir made up of children from the nearby refugee camp, and the Rainbow choir with children from local Adventist churches. Parents, friends and students from surrounding local schools were among the 70 visitors in the audience.

Christianity and Capitalism - Why Women and Shopping Matter (Helen Pearson, TED News Network, 13 November 2017)

Using a variety of props including a puppet, a fish-shaped oven glove and a Santa Claus toy, Dr Poole encouraged her audience to think about the essentials of the capitalist system in which they live and ‘Seven toxic assumptions’ made by banks and other companies with whom they trade – assumptions probably shared by some of the Christians and possibly the Newbold Business Students in the audience. Where women and shopping come in was revealed in due course!