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Human Rights Day: Swiss Video Clip Portrays Religious Discrimination

On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on December 10, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Switzerland published a movie clip on religious freedom in six languages. Using religious freedom as an example it focuses on the universality of human rights. It was produced by young Adventists who are engaged in the film business either full or part time.

Religious freedom also protects atheists

“Religious Liberty is an important concern for us Adventists,” said Pastor Herbert Bodenmann, Director of the Department Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Switzerland. This is manifested in the fact that the “International Religious Liberty Association” (IRLA), a non-governmental organization, was founded by the Seventh-day Adventists in North America in 1893 which still exists to this day and is engaged in religious freedom worldwide. In 1901 the church itself set up a department for “Public Affairs and Religious Liberty” (PARL) which is to maintain contacts with external parties and to defend and promote religious liberty. “We request religious freedom not only for us but for everybody as stated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human rights are universally applicable and can’t be divided on a ‘pick and choose’ basis,” said Bodenmann. The clip focuses exclusively on representatives of three world religions but Article 18 also protects people who are not religious and have different world views including such as atheists.


Annual Religious Liberty Day by Adventists

The global church internal “Religious Liberty Day” is celebrated annually by the Adventist Church on a Saturday in January. Adventists celebrate the biblical day of rest, the Sabbath (Saturday). On 25 January 2014 it is planned to show the movie clip on religious liberty during the worship service in all the 50 Adventist church congregations in Switzerland, according to Bodenmann. This it is intended to heighten the awareness of the topic among the church members and to stimulate discussion on human rights and religious freedom. Besides German, French and Italian, the three national languages in which Adventist worship services are primarily conducted in Switzerland, it was decided, due to the international nature of the church to produce the clip also in English, Portuguese and Spanish. This will not only benefit the respective language groups in the Swiss churches but also those in the worldwide church.


The clips in six languages can be viewed on YouTube:



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