From the Worldwide Faith News archives

"Increase in Religious Intolerance"-Adventist Religious Liberty

From "Beckett, John" <>
Date 12 Apr 2000 09:32:54

Leader Warns United Nations

ANN Bulletin
Adventist News Network
Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters
April 11, 2000
"Increase in Religious Intolerance"-Adventist Religious Liberty Leader Warns
United Nations
Geneva, Switzerland .... [ANN]

A growing climate of hostility towards religious minorities in Europe is out
of keeping with the democratic ideal of religious freedom, Seventh-day
Adventist pastor Malton Braff told the United Nations Human Rights
Commission on April 6.

Representing the public affairs and religious liberty department of the
world Church, Braff told UN delegates that "honest believers are facing
difficulties" as governments-including those in France, Belgium and other
European countries-are confusing minority religions with dangerous sects and

"We believe that there are many other ways to control and stop these
dangerous groups," Braff said, noting that the repression of human rights is
never justified. 

Braff's speech to the UN comes amid continuing concern in international
religious and civil rights communities over policies adopted by some
European governments in recent years-ranging from setting up committees to
investigate smaller religious groups to requiring the registration of
non-mainstream religious organizations. 

Calling these policies out of touch with both public feeling and
international human rights treaties, Braff said "We believe that governments
must protect religious freedom, and they will do this by protecting and
promoting human rights."

Dr. John Graz, director of public affairs and religious liberty at the
Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland,
reaffirms the Church's commitment to promoting religious liberty throughout
the world, for all people of faith.
"In its 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations listed
religious freedom as one of the 'equal and inalienable rights of all members
of the human family,'" says Graz.  "As a Church, therefore, we will continue
to oppose government practices and regulations that abridge this fundamental
freedom by discriminating against minority religions." [Bettina Krause]

Contact Information: 
Communications Department
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600

Phone: 301-680-6300

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