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Religious Liberty

Freedom to believe

The Seventh-day Adventist church strongly believes in religious freedom for all people. A person’s conscience, not government, should dictate his or her choice to worship—or not.

We have advocated for these goals for more than 100 years, through our department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL), to governments and religious and international organizations.

This advocacy takes many forms—fighting against laws that would inhibit an individual’s religious freedoms, working to obtain the release of individuals imprisoned for religious reasons and supporting the rights of individuals fired from their jobs for following their conscience, to name a few.

As the official voice of the Adventist Church on matters of religious freedom and human rights, PARL maintains offices in Washington, D.C. to allow for convenient access to the U.S. Congress; New York City, to liaise with the United Nations; and at the church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. PARL also sponsors the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) on behalf of the Adventist Church. IRLA is a non-sectarian organization supporting religious freedom around the world.

The first organization of its kind, IRLA brings together representatives of many faiths—including Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Buddhists and others—to support religious liberty. PARL and IRLA promote this vital cooperation through conferences, religious liberty festivals and other events, collectively raising awareness and educating government officials around the world.

This priority is vital to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. While we are a rapidly growing denomination around the world, the church often finds itself in the religious minority, and consequently, understands the importance of ensuring that all voices be allowed to speak.

The Adventist Church believes that fighting religious oppression and defending an individual’s right to worship according to his or her conscience—regardless of that person’s religious affiliation—is in everyone’s best interest.

Close-up of Angola on flat paper map

Justice Prevails in Angola for Five Adventist Men

A full acquittal by the Supreme Court of Angola on May 15 has ended a two-year legal ordeal for four Seventh-day Adventist Church pastors and one layperson falsely accused in an abduction conspiracy. ...

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ADRA President: “Poverty plants the seeds of religious violence”

ADRA President: “Poverty plants the seeds of religious violence”

Jonathan Duffy, president of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, spoke in front of a packed room during the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Summit at the U.S....

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A ‘friends’ view of Adventists and military service: Biblical, Historical and Ethical Perspectives

A ‘friends’ view of Adventists and military service: Biblical, Historical and Ethical Perspectives

Seeing ourselves as others see us is not always easy. Even at a recent conference on Adventists and Military Service, men, and it was mostly men, cordially differed on the value, ethics and efficacy...

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President of Colombia reassures religious freedom to faith-based leaders

President of Colombia reassures religious freedom to faith-based leaders

President of Colombia Ivan Duque shared his commitment to upholding religious liberty in Colombia during a special breakfast to commemorate its Religious Liberty National Day in Colombia, on July 4,...

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‘Religious liberty is human rights’

‘Religious liberty is human rights’

“These people had been falsely labelled religious bigots and mystics.” Sound familiar. There has been lots of talk about religious freedom in Australia and the Church lately. Many Christians may feel...

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U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black Named 2019 Canterbury Medalist

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black Named 2019 Canterbury Medalist

Barry C. Black, 62nd Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, has been named Becket’s 2019 Canterbury Medalist for his honorable defense of religious liberty for people of all faiths. The Canterbury Medal,...

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Our beliefs

Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.

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