Religious liberty entails freedom of conscience: to worship or not to worship; to profess, practice and promulgate religious beliefs or to change them. In exercising these rights, however, one must respect the equivalent rights of all others.
The Religious liberty Department of our church supports the initiatives and efforts of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department (PARL), an auxiliary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. PARL represents the world headquarters of the Church on government issues, has an office at the United Nations, and hosts many diplomatic meetings to reinforce relations between the Church and different countries. PARL advances the principle of religious freedom for every individual.
The goals of the (Abney Chapel SDA) Religious Liberty Department are:
1) Increase subscriptions to Liberty magazine. This includes subscriptions to members and sponsorship of subscriptions to local government officials, learning institutions, businesses, judges, attorneys, and churches. This is our primary means of spreading the principles of religious liberty in our community; especially to those who are in positions to defend and influence legislation that favor religious liberty. “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty”. Thomas Jefferson “We are not doing the will of God if we sit in quietude, doing nothing to preserve liberty of conscience. Fervent, effectual prayer should be ascending to heaven that this calamity may be deferred until we can accomplish the work which has so long been neglected. Let there be most earnest prayer and then let us work in harmony with our prayers.”
2) Keep the church membership informed of happenings pertaining to religious liberty that occur locally, nationally, and internationally.
3) Rally members to support or oppose legislation that impact religious liberty through letters to congress and other forms of lobbying.
4) Provide advisory assistance to members who are having difficulty with employers because of their religious beliefs and observances.