What comes to mind when you hear the word PARL? Undoubtedly, you have heard it mentioned in your local Church or perhaps came across it in your church manual. PARL is an acronym for Public Affairs and Religious Liberty. It is part of the global endeavor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to create favorable conditions to share the good news of freedom and to invite all into a loving fellowship with God and fellow human beings.

The mandate of PARL is “to promote and develop a culture of human rights grounded on human dignity and the belief in the creation of all humans in God's image, free to fellowship with God and fellow human beings” (Adventist Liberty, 2023). To accomplish this mandate, we will have to engage all civil society, including people of influence in the political as well as in people in the religious world. Example of such people includes government officials, decision-makers, lawmakers, faith-based organizations, and community leaders.

Recently, the South Bahamas Conference adopted the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Action Plans for 2023. The plan seeks to establish healthy and respectful relations with duly constituted authorities to let them know who we are and what we do. For the first quarter, our District Pastors, Department Directors, and Conference Administrators will preach about PARL, visit local authorities headquarters, present as a gift a copy of The Great Controversy or The Desire of Ages, and extend an invitation for them to join us at the local Church.

We believe this to be an exciting initiative and encourage every member to show support for this initiative by being receptive to the local authorities as we proceed with the PARL Action Plan 2023. Remember, we are admonished that “petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth. For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" , 1 Timothy 2:1-5 (Amplified Bible).