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Ukrainian Adventist Conscientious Objector Serving Three-Year Jail Sentence and More News

Dmytro Zelinsky, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Malawi Farms

Ukrainian Adventist Conscientious Objector Serving Three-Year Jail Sentence

Ukrainian Seventh-day Adventist Dmytro Zelinsky is serving his three-year jail term for refusing to take up arms in Ukraine's fight against Russia. “The Recruitment Office rejected Zelinsky's written request to be exempted from mobilization on grounds of conscience or to be assigned to alternative civilian service 'due to the fact that such replacement is not provided for by the current legislation,' according to the subsequent court decision,” writes Felix Corley for Forum 18.

Zelinsky is preparing a Supreme Court appeal. Courts have handed conscientious objectors three prison sentences (two of them later overturned), nine suspended prison terms, and two acquittals (which prosecutors are challenging). Seven criminal trials continue.

In her June decision acquitting Zelinsky, Judge Tetyana Klim of Kremenets District Court pointed to Article 35 of the Constitution, which includes the provision: “If the performance of military duty contradicts the religious beliefs of a citizen, the performance of this duty shall be replaced by alternative (non-military) service.”

Judge Klim also noted that a November 2018 Presidential Decree setting out the provisions of martial law did not include any restrictions on rights set out in Article 35, and that various judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECtHR) had defined the right to conscientious objection to military service.

“Therefore, the right of believers to freedom of worldview and religion, which is provided for in Article 35 of Ukraine's Constitution, and includes the right to replace the performance of military duty with alternative non-military service, is not restricted by the above-mentioned Decree of the President of Ukraine,” Judge Klim wrote in the verdict. “Other legal acts that would limit such rights even for the present time—in the conditions of martial law—do not exist.”

Prosecutions of others refusing mobilization on grounds of conscience continue. In Mykolaiv Region, a court handed Artyom Kravtsov, a Baptist, a four-year suspended sentence. In Transcarpathia Region, a court handed Volodymyr Ukhal, a parishioner of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a four-year suspended sentence. In Ivano-Frankivsk, a court changed Mykhailo Yavorsky's one-year prison term into a three-year suspended sentence.

—From Forum 18, “Ukraine: Three Years’ Jail for Adventist Conscientious Objector to Mobilisation.”

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Opens New Digital Experience

On November 7, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital unveiled a new digital experience for patients, visitors, and families. “The experience, called Loma Land, blends technology and art in a three-part sequence. . . . Loma Land has been carefully designed to reduce stress and improve the well-being of those who participate,” according to the KTLA 5 TV news in Los Angeles.

“Children visiting the hospital will have the opportunity to select their very own personalized forest creature, which will accompany them on their path to the elevators,” the children’s hospital said. The custom creatures can also be decorated with a range of accessories. 

Upon creating and customizing their own forest creature, children can “release” them into the wild where they can interact with the creations of others. The magical “release” takes place on a 60-foot-wide screen that serves as the children’s “gateway into the world” of Loma Land. 

“Loma Land offers hospital visitors, patients, and their families the opportunity to nurture their creativity and overall well-being,” Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital said.

From KTLA 5 News, “Local Children’s Hospital to Unveil First-of-Its-Kind Digital Experience.” 

Malawi President Asks Churches to Join Government Effort Developing Mega Farms

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has asked the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Malawi, along with other churches in the country, to “consider partnering with his government in developing mega farms to occupy the agricultural sector ‘until the Lord comes,’” writes Watipaso Mzungu for the Nyasa Times.

Chakwera acknowledged that the church has already done commendable work in changing the mind of the people, which the government recognizes as an enabler for the achievement of the Malawi 2063.

The President also called upon the church to develop more arts to occupy the creative sector and to develop thriving businesses to occupy the economic sector, stressing that this key to achieving MW2063.

“I call on you to run for elected office and join the civil service to occupy the public sector until the Lord comes. And remember that in that parable Jesus told while visiting Zacchaeus' house, he clearly said that any person who is idle instead of occupying while knowing that the Lord is coming is a wicked servant. So let us all be mindful that the Lord is coming and he wants to find us occupying when he comes,” he said.

“Even so, I believe that this is also a suitable occasion to celebrate what God has done in Malawi through the Seventh-day Adventist Church over the past 100 years. Obviously, its first major contribution is the faithful preaching of the word, calling sinners to a life of repentance and calling believers to a life of obedience and service,” he added.

From the Nyasa Times, “Chakwera Calls upon Churches to Open Mega Farms.”

Massachusetts Adventist Church Second Online Auction to Aid Ukrainians

The Amesbury Seventh-day Adventist Church in Massachusetts held its second online auction to help people in Ukraine this November. “Another cold and potentially deadly winter is coming for people of that war-torn country, and the Main Street church is doing what it can to help,” according to Jim Sullivan for the Newburyport News.

Church member and auction organizer George Odell said last spring’s event brought in roughly $18,000 for those in need. “We had a good turnout and people were ready to spend,” he said. “But an online auction has always been part of the plan. You know, I’ve had people tell me that they are moving on to supporting Israel or Gaza right now, and I don’t blame them. But we can’t forget about Ukraine. We have to support those people. They are really going to have a tough winter.”

An ultimate NASCAR driving experience, including 10 laps around a track, [was] among the items up for bid, starting at $1,200. Other extravagances up for bid [included] a Lake Tahoe alpine adventure beginning at $2,075 and a six-hour summer pool party in Newburyport’s South End, with a starting bid of $100.

A trip for two to the 2024 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs [was] also up for bid, starting at $7,325. A fantasy afternoon in a classic 1937 Ford has a starting bid of $200, and Amesbury Seventh-day Adventist Church [offered] the ultimate “Top Gun” experience, which included five air combat engagements, aircraft handling and G exercises in Mesa, Arizona, beginning at $1,975.

The auction ended on November 19, and one hundred percent of the proceeds were donated to Ukraine ADRA relief. “There’s unbelievable courage in the Ukrainians who are fighting our war for us,” Mac Odell, George Odell’s brother, said. “We’re giving them help and it’s never fast enough.”

From The Newburyport News, ‘Local Auction to Benefit Ukraine Begins Today.”

Business Insider Writer Experiments with Vegetarian Meatloaf from Loma Linda University Dietitian's Recipe

Writing for Business Insider, Serafina Kenny tried creating a vegetarian meatloaf in her "quest to find tasty, easy, go-to meals that are good for my health and could boost [her] longevity.” She writes that she was “intrigued by a recipe for a vegetarian meatloaf by Seventh-day Adventist chef Corey Gheen, a registered dietitian nutritionist and assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Loma Linda University.”

I, a Brit, have never had meatloaf, but since I am always looking for vegetarian dishes to help me cut down on my meat consumption, this alternative sounded worth trying.

Instead of the ground beef that you would find in a traditional meatloaf, this one is made mostly of black beans and white beans, as well as a bell pepper, onion, corn, and salsa, so it contains lots of fiber and plenty of nutrients. It also includes an egg, which can be swapped out for a "flax egg" to make the recipe vegan, and the shredded cheese can be skipped, too.

I had to improvise, adapt, and overcome. . . . The beans ended up turning into more of a paste than the chunky mixture that chef Gheen achieved in a tutorial video, and I think that contributed majorly to the density of the final product.

It tasted just like a veggie burger, and I quite enjoyed it. It wasn't particularly mind-blowingly flavorful, and the texture wasn't anything like what I imagine the texture of actual meatloaf to be, but I went back for seconds which I think is an indicator of success.

From Business Insider, “I Tried a Tasty, Fiber-Filled Meatless Meatloaf by a Nutritionist from Loma Linda, the Only US Blue Zone—And Went Back for Seconds.” 


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Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Title image by Spectrum. Photos by (clockwise from top): Iryna Zhukova [CC BY-NC-ND 4.0], Cosmin Cosma / Adventist Media Exchange (CC BY 4.0), Maria Zardoya on Unsplash.

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