The statement comes after recent events led the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) World Affairs Committee to vote on July 1, 2020, to explore the need to produce a new church statement on global issues involving racism.
Ganoune Diop, who serves as director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists spoke about why this statement was important in today’s climate, noting the increased global awareness of “the pandemic of racism.”
“When it comes to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we have in our DNA the concept of equality, because we are among those who believe in creation,” he said. “There is one humanity and racism is the denial of the human dignity of a person created in the image of God. The principles and values that characterize us as a church means that our voice should be heard on this issue. The challenge for all Adventists is to live up to this ideal.”
Ella Simmons, a general vice-president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists who chaired the writing subcommittee charged with drafting and revising the new church statement on racism, stresses the statement isn’t meant to just address issues of racism in one region, but global issues of discrimination. Simmons says, “Although racism in the United States is of a unique character, racism, by any name, is a global phenomenon. Given the global nature of our church, and the worldwide awakening to the continuing demonstrations of racism, it was necessary to create a statement without a limited focus on one particular region of the world, to acknowledge the relationship and the connectedness of these issues worldwide.”