The First Amendment of the United States Constitution safeguards the right to freely exercise one's religion. The Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty primarily aims to support individuals whose religious freedoms are at risk. Additionally, it focuses on preserving the United States' longstanding tradition of separating church and state.
Adventist Understanding of Religious Liberty
The Seventh-day Adventist perspective on religious liberty was articulated in 1889 through the "Declaration of Principles of the National Religious Liberty Association," established that year in Battle Creek, Michigan. This declaration includes four resolutions pertinent to religious freedom:
We advocate for the support of civil government and adherence to its authority.
We reject any civil government's authority to enact legislation on religious matters.
We assert that every individual has the right and should have the freedom to worship according to their own conscience.
We consider it our obligation to employ lawful and ethical means to deter religious legislation by civil authorities, ensuring that our fellow citizens can enjoy the invaluable benefits of religious liberty.
Andy Im is the Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He previously ministered as the co-chair of the Religion Department at Weimar College, and also as a pastor in New Jersey and Michigan for a number of years. Andy holds a degree in political science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Master in Religion degree from Southern Adventist University. His interests include cooking, traveling, theology, working with college students and young professionals, and spending time with his wife Laura and daughters Olivia and Karis.
Laura Im is the Associate Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. She previously served in the Planned Giving Department of Amazing Facts, Inc. at their headquarters in Roseville, CA. Laura completed her bachelor's degree in English/French Studies from Andrews University. She then obtained her law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in her native Canada. Laura worked mainly in criminal and real estate law before turning her attention to ministry full-time. Laura's interests include ministering to students and young professionals, reading, traveling, and finding new adventures with her family.
Sabbath Accommodation Request?
Should you require support in safeguarding your religious freedom, please consult your pastor. If your concern persists unresolved, kindly follow the link below to submit an accommodation request. We are committed to providing you with assistance.