Seventh-day Adventists are people who love freedom. Basing our faith on the Bible and understanding that at the centre of our Christian experience is God Himself we testify that freedom of choice underlines our relationship with God and with our fellow human beings. For Seventh-day Adventists freedom of religion is biblically mandated. We understand that the message of the Holy Scripture is that God forces no one. As created beings we are endowed with dignity and a freedom of choice. We clearly understand that the story of the gospels establishes an important principle that every human being has the right to relate to God according to the dictates of conscience. No one can decide for you or me. Christ expects us to give Him our heart out of our own choice.
As a Church we are concerned about promoting and protecting our own religious freedom. But we are not only concerned with ourselves. We recognise that ours is also a service to protect and fight for religious freedom for others. On several Church levels we study and monitor the religious liberty situation of today. We become involved in discussions about legislative matters and promote separation of religion and state. Religious liberty activities are elevated to a departmental service of the Church. It means that we are concerned, are vocal, and lobby on behalf of religious liberty around the world. Religious Liberty concerns have been on the Church's agenda ever since it was organised.
Our leadership fought valiant battles against restrictive Sunday laws in the late 19th century in the United States. Liberty magazine has a history dating back to the 1880s. Also today, the Church is vocal at the United Nations, Council of Europe, and other international and national bodies. We support the work of international religious liberty associations and Seventh-day Adventist experts serve as advisors to legislators dealing with laws covering church-state relations.
'Free to Worship' Religious Liberty Festival
The Adventist Church held its first major Religious Liberty Festival in the UK on 15 - 16 August 2014. Highlights from the two days can be found below:
News report of the Friday Symposium.
News report of the Sabbath (Saturday) Religious Liberty Festival, 'Free to Worship'.
Video report and interviews from Religious Liberty leaders and experts.
Sabbath Morning Sermon from US Senate Chaplain, Pastor Barry Black.
Learning about Religious Freedom and why the Adventist Church believes it is so important, with PARL director, Dr John Graz.
Sabbath afternoon panel discussion chaired by Pastor Audrey Anderson, Executive Secretary, Trans-European Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
Department of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty at the World Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.