In the states of Bahia and Sergipe, the Seventh-day Adventist Church wants to expand spaces to bring Adventists to study, reflect and debate about the role of religious freedom in the activities of local temples and in the lives of the faithful. The announcement was made on Thursday, January 21, a date established by federal law as the National Day to Combat Religious Intolerance.
“The best way to combat religious intolerance is to understand that this problem is a reality today; and, from there, understand the role of the Church and its understanding of religious freedom to face this problem, which causes violence and religious hatred, ”said Journalist Heron Santana, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Freedom for the Eastern Brazilian Union, Adventist headquarters for Bahia and Sergipe.
According to Santana, it is essential to expand spaces for this reflection, and these spaces officially come into existence with the implementation of the Regional Forum on Religious Freedom (Forlir). Created by the Church’s South American headquarters, with a presence in Brazil and in the countries of South America, Forlir is a gathering of people willing to work in a voluntary, organized, intentional and united way, with the objective of protecting, promoting and defending religious freedom. The forum allows Church initiatives in favor of the defense and promotion of religious freedom to be made known to members and to have an impact on communities.
In the State of Bahia, Forlir has already been implemented in three administrative regions: in the north, with headquarters in Juazeiro, being coordinated by lawyer Raíssa Carmen Castro; in the south, based in Itabuna, under the coordination of lawyer Daniel Rocha; and in the southwest of Bahia, being coordinated by lawyer Juliana Lima.
Defense for all
In 2021, the goal is to reach the remaining regions of Bahia, with headquarters in Feira de Santana and Salvador, and also to reach Aracaju, the capital of Sergipe. In this way, there will be representation at the religious freedom forum from each administrative headquarters of the Church in these two states.
For Santana, the announcement of the Forlir expansion agenda on the day to combat religious intolerance in Brazil is a demonstration that the Church understands that the best way to combat intolerance is to promote freedom of religion for all confessions, including those who do not believe. “In defending religious freedom, we are not only defending a fundamental human right; as Christians, we share the character of a loving Creator who made us in His image and likeness and therefore created us free, ”pointed out Santana.
Follow the video by Pastor Helio Carnassale, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for South America, for more information about the National Day to Combat Religious Intolerance.
This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site