Dr. Ganoune Diop, General Conference director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, gives a presentation titled “Speaking As a Dragon? Religious Liberty & Biblical Justice Today.” A panel presentation follows.Read More
Dragutin Matak—an Adventist Pastor and theologian also serving as the General Secretary of the Croatian Religious Liberty Association—was one of three individuals to receive the 2016 Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Award on Friday, December 9. All three were “were recognized for their promotion of human rights, religious liberty and interreligious dialogue.”
Among his recent activities Matak was part of a delegation of religious representatives from Croatia who visited the religious and political leaders of Iran during the summer. In his acceptance speech Matak emphasised the need for personal moral responsibilities in achieving human and religious freedom.
News Round-up: Ferguson, Iraq and Syria, Hobby Lobby, Ebola, UN Day of Peace
Finding the Adventists in Ferguson (Byrd, Spectrum, 1 Sept 2014)
Darrell Alexander, an Adventist minister of music who is now retired, and lives in the St. Louis area, said, “Do we actually get out there and help other people the way Jesus did, or do we just talk about it? If we are a church about people, and a church about helping the afflicted, then we need to be on point. We need to back that up with our actions.”
Adventist-Linked Group Presses UN on Iraq and Syria (McChesney, Adventist Review, 2 Sept 2014)
A religious freedom group with links to the Seventh-day Adventist Church urged the United Nations and international community on Tuesday to act quickly and decisively in protecting Christians in Iraq and Syria against “unimaginable and unprecedented” violence from Islamic State militants.
Viewpoint: Politics and SDA Religious Liberty (Gessel, Spectrum, 5 Sept 2014)
In a statement posted on June 30, 2014, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America announced that it is “encouraged” by the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case. This week, the online Adventist Review published a document prepared by a General Conference Associate General Counsel that provided the underlying support for the June 30 statement.
Dispatches from Ebola-Hit Liberia (Appel, Spectrum, 8 Sept 2014)
Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, has come to a standstill as the deadly Ebola outbreak sweeps the region. Cooper Adventist Hospital is the only hospital still open to treat patients with problems other than Ebola. In mid-August Dr. James Appel, a graduate of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine with years of experience at Adventist hospitals in Chad, flew to Liberia to work at Cooper Adventist, an Adventist Health International hospital with only 25 beds and very little supplies and equipment.
Adventist Church to mark UN’s International Day of Peace September 21 (Etats-Unis/ANN, 18 Sept 2014)
Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders are inviting members to join the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on Sunday, September 21 by responding to a call for a minute of silence at noon with prayer.
Adventist Mission Doctor Speaks Out on the Ebola Crisis and Foreign Aid (Appel, Adventist Today, 19 Sept 2014)
I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be foreigners involved. I’m just saying that the foreigners should be working alongside the Liberians, helping them to find a solution to the Ebola problem, not trying to impose Western ideas that obviously aren’t working. Foreigners should not be bringing in a lot of money that is spent on things that will just make the Liberians envious and want to share in the spoils of aid money.
Adventist Church Files Amicus Brief for Workplace Religious Freedom Case at Top U.S. Court (Ansel Oliver, ANN, 27 Aug 2014)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church filed an amicus brief today urging the United States’ top court to accept the case of a Muslim girl who was denied a job because her hijab—a head-covering—violated a company’s policy. The Adventist Church’s “friend-of-the-court” brief is joined by seven other faith groups for the case Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. [complete article]
Adventist Church Sponsors Its First Religious Liberty Festival in Britain (Victor Hulbert, John Surridge, Dan Serb and ANN staff, ANN, 26 Aug 2014)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Britain held its first religious liberty festival, in which Church leaders offered an overview of religious freedom developments and urged Church members to continue defending rights for people of all faiths and beliefs. More than 2,000 people attended the “Free to Worship” festival on Saturday, August 16, the second of a two-day event at the Bethel Convention Centre in West Bromwich. [complete article]
Adventist Leaders Speak Out on Unrest in Ferguson, Missouri (Adventist Today, 21 Aug 2014)
Pastor Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in North America, released a statement early Thursday morning (August 21) about the ongoing civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. “As a part of the larger family of America, Seventh-day Adventists grieve with Michael Brown’s family and extend our heartfelt condolences for their tragic loss," he said. "We are praying for our Ferguson community family who are in such great pain." [complete article]
Adventist Church’s Anti-abuse Initiative Set for August 23 (Ansel Oliver, ANN, 15 Aug 2014)
Seventh-day Adventist world church leaders are calling on all Adventist congregations to designate a portion of their August 23 church service to mark the EndItNow Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day. The Adventist Church’s annual day of emphasis brings awareness to the issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse and other forms of mistreatment. [complete article]
The Adventist News Network (ANN) has released the following statement by Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson:
It is with great sadness and deep concern that we have learned of the tragic situation where tens of thousands of Christians and others have been subjected to persecution, coercion, killings, intimidation and lack of religious liberty in certain areas of Iraq and Syria.
I urgently call upon all Seventh-day Adventist Church members around the world to pray for the victims of this extremism in religious intolerance. We also need to pray for various religious minorities who are targeted because of their religious convictions and beliefs.
It is important that the international community act unitedly to stop the persecution of Christian believers and others who represent those who have lived in relative peace with their Muslim neighbors in the Middle East for hundreds of years. The Seventh-day Adventist Church will do its best to assist victims of this new tragedy, which reflects a total lack of religious liberty, and we will earnestly pray for a positive resolution to this appalling situation. May the Holy Spirit as the Comforter come especially close to those facing immediate persecution and death at this time.
"More than 4,000 Seventh-day Adventist youth marched from Harare city center to join over 30,000 Adventists at Glamis stadium to celebrate religious liberty in Zimbabwe on June 21," reports the Adventist News Network (ANN, 23 July 2014, link). "The Zimbabwe prisons band played for the Pathfinders who carried banners reading 'Celebrating Religious Liberty in Zimbabwe.'”
The Guest of Honor, Minister of State in The President’s office Harare Province, Cde Miriam Chikukwa, spoke on government’s commitment to protect the constitution that guarantees religious liberty.
Paul Charles, Communication director for the denomination’s Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, told the gathering that the purpose of the function was for the Seventh-day Adventists to express their profound appreciation to the government of Zimbabwe for the religious freedom the church was enjoying. He urged the Adventists to respect those from other religions and denominations.
“The reason why we love each other, even though we do not know each other is that in you I see the image of God and in me you see the image of God,” Charles said.
View the entire article here.