I am earnestly appealing to Seventh-day Adventist church members, and others worldwide, to begin a strong, worldwide prayer initiative for our members and church organization in the central African country of Burundi, who are experiencing systematic religious liberty abuse by the government. For more than six months, the Burundi government has increasingly harassed and abused the Seventh-day Adventist Church by imprisoning, beating, and intimidating Seventh-day Adventist church leaders and members.
The government has prevented the ability of the Adventist Church to function through our duly-elected leadership of the Burundi Union Mission, who were appropriately, and legally, appointed by the East-Central Africa Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. It is apparent the wonderful Total Member Involvement activities of God’s people to help others through Christ’s method of dealing with people physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, have not been valued by the government of Burundi.
During this time, I have personally appealed to the president of Burundi with no response from his office. We now call on him and his government ministries to adhere to international law, United Nations protocols, and Organization of African Union precepts, to honor religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all citizens of Burundi and the legitimate Seventh-day Adventist administrative team in the country.
On Friday, May 10, the duly appointed president of the Burundi Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Lamec Barishinga, was arrested along with Pastor Lambert, a local field president. This is completely illegal, unethical, and against all logical and international protections of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
I call on all Seventh-day Adventists to pray for our church members in Burundi, for religious liberty in that country, and for the release of all imprisoned Seventh-day Adventists. Please pray until we see God’s mighty hand changing this dire situation in Burundi. I appeal to the governments of all nations around the world, and especially in Africa, to intercede with the Burundi government on behalf of religious liberty for the people of Burundi and specifically for Seventh-day Adventists who are being abused by that country’s government.