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A Concert for Religious Liberty

A Concert for Religious Liberty

'Gloria Dei' (Photo Credit: C. Cozzi)

The EUD Executive attend a concert in favour of religous liberty promoted by Seventh-day Adventists .

November 12, 2015 | Bern, Switzerland. | C. Cozzi, CD EUDNEWS.

The Executive Committee of the Inter-European Region (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church attended a concert organized by the Adventist Church in Romania, at the governmental Palace of Romania, in Bucharest, on October 31, 2015.

"The concert was organized by the Romanian Adventist Church in order to promote its  activities and inform about its history," said Norel Iacob, the host of the program. "The intention was that non-Adventist diplomats, officials and intellectuals would become more aware of the Romanian Adventist Church." In doing this, the Romanian Adventist Church also  introduced the concept of the defense of religious liberty, presented by Marius Monteanu, President of the Romanian Adventist Church."

The concert was offered by the "GLORIA DEI" National Chorus and Orchestra of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, with a repertoire of great artistic value. They presented pieces from Handel and other composers, concluding with Handel's masterpiece, the 'Hallelujah Chorus’, better known as 'Handel's Messiah'. Among the composers were Ennio Morricone, George Enescu, G. Puccini, Joseph Martin, and John Rutter.

During the presentation of these songs, some interventions in turn qualified the goals of the concert. Also presented was a song specifically written for the history of the Adventist Church in Romania, and President Marius Monteanu commented on some basic concepts of religious freedom. Here some excerpts of his message:

“When this building was erected, nobody would have thought that a Christian concert would take place here, organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in cooperation with the Romanian Parliament, Juridical Commission and the Romanian branch of the oldest international organization dedicated to the protection of freedom of conscience.” 

“Nobody would have thought that the special guests would be the leaders of the Adventist Church at a European level and nobody would have thought that, besides these aforementioned, 600 more Christians of different religious backgrounds would attend. That’s why I would like you to let me appreciate our presence here as being God’s grace. 

Because, as the Bible teaches us, people sow and water, but God makes it grow. It is the same in education. We see the results in our children in society only after many years but, surely, we see them. Sometimes we like them, sometimes we don’t.

Education, seen through its Latin roots, signifies activity which stimulates and brings to the surface what is inside man. Whatever type of education we choose, whatever we choose to bring to the surface, whatever we water, that’s what we will sow in the future, sometimes, for several generations.

The choices we make every day build our future and that of our children! People are looking for authentic role models! If we are not those role models, let’s not feel bad when society looks as it does!

 If the political, religious and educational leaders are not in the first rows to defend religious freedom, if the libraries are not filled with reference works in the field, if nobody takes a stand when side-slips and attempts to impose a certain religion or conception about the world take the place of healthy speeches, let’s not be amazed when we become the oppressed ones!

In this context I am paraphrasing Malala, the youngest holder of a Nobel prize for peace, who, at only 15 years old, was shot in the head by the Taliban, but fought and managed to survive this nightmare. This is what she said: 'Let’s raise the books and pens. These are the strongest weapons. A child, a teacher, a book and a pen can change the world. Education is our only way.'

There is no place for tolerance in the Constitution of Romania and its laws! Romanian citizens must not be educated to tolerate anyone! Nobody wants to be tolerated! We are called to accept, to love, to cherish our neighbor as God does, no more and no less! Education is also tolerated in Romania, and the results are visible. If it weren’t mandatory (legally or socially) few people would love it.

It’s the same with religious freedom. It’s time to make these two elements be loved, not tolerated, by society! Cherished, not marginalized! Christianity has value for society! Education has value for society! Religious freedom has value for society!

As a result, esteemed guests, I am inviting you to be a value for society, to be salt and light by promoting an adequate permanent education, based on true values!

And since today, October 31st, the Reformation Day is celebrated in many countries, before inviting you to enjoy an extraordinary concert in the company of “GLORIA DEI” National Chorus and Orchestra of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, I would like to remind you of the words of the great reformer Martin Luther:

After theology, there is nothing that can be put besides music. Music chases away the Devil and fills people with joy. Through singing, people can publicly express their love for the Almighty High God.’"

And since he himself (i.e. Martin Luther) hasn’t been perfect, just as none of us is, I’d like to finish with another verbal symbol: Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Soli Deo Gloria.”

 

 

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