Public Affairs and Religious Liberty
The work of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) is to keep abreast of developing conditions and legislation which may affect religious liberty, and to take positive action for preserving religious freedom. This includes:
- freedom of conscience and belief;
- freedom to worship;
- and freedom for the unrestricted activities of the church.
PARL members seek to be informed on church-state relations, industrial relations and inter-church relations, and take action towards maintaining positive relations in all such areas. Their work is to alert the church and keep it informed of significant trends in the religious and political world that impact upon liberty.
PARL stands for the general defence of religious liberty for all people and in particular, helps members who are having problems regarding religious liberty. It acts as the point of contact with government in general matters and fosters a clearer understanding of the Christian's duty to God and government.
Church members may wish to contact their local church pastor or the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director of their conference about issues such as:
- Sabbath work and exam schedule conflicts
- Religious discrimination at the workplace
- Military service and non-combatancy problems
- Trade union membership
Who to contact:
If you are facing religious liberty issues, your first point of contact should either be your local church pastor, or the local conference president.
Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church http://parl.gc.adventist.org
International Religious Liberty Association www.irla.or
Pr Ray Coombe is the liaison officer between the Unions of the South Pacific Division and the General Conference for Public and Religious Liberty (PARL) issues and regional secretary for the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA).As regional secretary for the IRLA, Ray is qualified to speak about the challenges facing religious minorities and about the issues of human rights and religious discrimination.
In 1993, he organised a Pacific-Rim Regional Congress on Religious Freedom in Suva, Fiji. He has made many submissions to state and federal government on matters of religious freedom, written articles and represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church in inter-faith and inter-church organisations
Ray has worked in communication and public relations for 25 years.