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.
THE REAL DESMOND DOSS STORY When U.S. President Harry Truman awarded Desmond Doss the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 12, 1945, he said, "I'm proud of you. You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president." [Photo: Desmond Doss Council] Desmond Doss was a Seventh-day Adventist conscientious objector during World…Read More