Ms Sybil du Preez
PARL (Public Affairs and Religious Liberty) was recognised as a department of the world church in 1902. This department is the foreign affairs wing of the church and works mainly with governments, international organizations, and religious authorities. PARL’s main area of focus is to educate our members about their religious rights and to assist them in cases where governments, private companies and religious entities deny or stifle their religious liberty.
Entrenched in the Bill of rights of the South African constitution is the right to exercise freedom of conscience, religion thought, belief and opinion. Even though our union comprises of several countries, we praise God that we do still experience a good measure of religious freedom. In other continents and countries outside of our union some of our members experience oppression and persecution because of their religious convictions. However, at times within our territory we learn of injustice being meted out to our members because of their faith.
PARL is a member of IRLA (International Religious and Liberty Association). IRLA was also chattered by the Adventist church since 1893. In 1946 IRLA became non sectarian by welcoming into its membership Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, and other Protestants. IRLA fights for the religious rights of all in the international arena. IRLA is not an ecumenical movement, but what binds these divers groups together is religious liberty.IRLA conducts a major international Congress every five years. The good news is our union will host one from 27th February to 1st March 2007. The theme of this event is Combating Religious Hatred Through Freedom to Believe. The highlight of this congress will be the Festival of Religious Liberty Rally open to all Seventh-day Adventists in our union. This event will also be in Cape Town and will take place on 3 March 2007. The entire Sabbath day will be a blessing because our members will be treated to an educational, spirit-filled program.
We invite our professionals and those who are interested to plan to attend this event. Sitting capacity is very limited, in due course more information will be furnished for those interested. More information will also be posted on the site given at the footnote. Pray for the leadership of PARL from the GC, SID and down to our union. With God on our side who can be against us. The message that guides us is: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden. Luke 4:18. To this end we strive.
Church statements on PARL matters:
Previous PARL news events
1. Alleged secret messge from Pope Benedict to President Obama – Statement from B W Bussey, Director of UN Relations:
We have been getting many phones calls and messages about the
current Sunday law rumor. Please feel free to share the message below with anyone
Dear Friends of Freedom,
We are receiving many inquiries about an alleged secret message from Pope Benedict
to President Obama concerning Sunday laws. This rumor is inaccurate.
I do not have to tell you how important it is for us as a people to be very wary of
sensational reports. The rapidity at which they are sent around and their acceptance
only causes us all to lose credibility. We must be careful. The evil one is the
author of confusion, mixing only enough truth with error to make it plausible. The
long term effect of rumors like this is disillusionment.