Public Affairs and Religious Liberty
Nigel Coke, Director
Seventh-day Adventists are people who love freedom. Basing our faith on the Bible and understanding that
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.
Religious liberty concerns have been on the church’s agenda ever since it was organized. Our leadership fought valiant battles against
restrictive Sunday laws in the late 19th century in the United States. Liberty magazine has a history of dating from the
1880s. Also today, your church is vocal
about religious liberty issues at the United Nations, in the Council of Europe
and other international and national bodies. We support the work of International Religious Liberty Association and
Adventist experts to serve as advisors to legislators dealing with laws
covering church-state relations.
What Does the Religious Liberty Leader Do?
Public Affairs & Religious Liberty (PARL) Department has been very much
involved with representation to Governments, Congresses, Parliaments and other
decision-making Assemblies of all kinds to ensure that religious liberty is
recognized and that no infringements of religious rights occur. As such, the Department is one of the oldest
in the Church and still carries on this vital role.
The PARL Leader will work:
- By defending the freedom to have, or not to have, a
personal religious belief; to maintain, to adopt or to change ones
religious or personal belief.
- By guarding the freedom to practice ones religious
beliefs in private, in public, or in association with others whether in
worship, in practice in teaching or in evangelistic distribution.
- By arousing public opinion and gaining public support
for religious liberty, the fundamental right which under-girds all human rights.
- By encouraging the idea of separation of church and
state, and defending the church’s ability to act without state
- By upholding the principle of the free exercise of
religion and opposing any private or government encroachment that tends to
inhibit this principle.
- By taking action to eliminate religious discrimination in both public and private employment
- By educating the public and government representatives through all appropriate means, including publications and
media presentations, promoting awareness of the threats to principles of
- By supporting and aiding in the legal defense of religious rights and privileges.
- By engaging in research and education promoting religious freedom.