Baptists, Adventists meet to underscore common Christian valuesprint printable versionemail mail article to

Silver Spring, Maryland/USA, 13.03.2009 / APD

Dulcie Callam (wife) with Neville Callam, general

Dulcie Callam (wife) with Neville Callam, general

secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, John Graz, director of the public affairs and religious liberty department for the Adventist church, and Fausto Vasconcelos, director of evangelism and education for the Baptist World Alliance.
Photo: Rajmund

Delegates from the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) met with Seventh-day Adventist world church President Jan Paulsen March 11 to affirm their denominations' common values and recommit to their shared goals of religious freedom.

The meeting, which included other church leaders, took place at Adventist world church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland/USA.

"[Adventists and Baptists] share a Christ-centric faith and many of the same values," said John Graz, director of public affairs and religious liberty for the Adventist church. "We also share a passion for religious freedom, and in many countries around the world we cooperate closely to promote and defend this freedom."

The Jamaican pastor and theologian Neville Callam (58), general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance since 2007, echoed the common need to work for religious liberty.

"Part of the genetic makeup of the Baptist community is [the affirmation] of human dignity," Callam said. He also expressed interest in pursuing "mutual sharing and collaboration in common causes" in the future. The BWA general secretary serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Alliance. For 15 years, Callam served as a member of the Standing and Plenary Commissions of the Faith and Order Movement of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and chaired a number of its study groups.

The Baptist delegation also included Fausto Vasconcelos, director of evangelism and education for the Baptist World Alliance.

Adventist world church President Jan Paulsen (74) also commended the group on past collaborations in the area of religious liberty.

"The strength of affirming and protecting religious freedom depends on participation of many. [Let us] explore opportunities to work together in the name of Christ and to strengthen our witness for him," Paulsen said.

Paulsen added that the partnership has provided "a fertile spiritual soil to our faith family." Paulsen is serving as world church president since 1999. He was re-elected in 2000 and 2005 for two more terms. Paulsen is recognized as an eminent Adventist scholar in the field of theology.

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905 in London, is a fellowship of 214 Baptist conventions and unions comprising a membership of more than 37 million baptized believers and a community of 105 million, in 119 countries.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a mainstream Protestant church with approximately 16 million adult members worshipping in more than 121,500 congregations in 202 countries.

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