Graz Recognized at Richmond Gala

John addressing the audience

On January 13th, Dr. John Graz, the Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association and Director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s religious liberty work, received the Counsel on America’s First Freedom’s “National Award” for his contribution to advancing the cause of religious liberty. The Counsel on America’s First Freedom exists to promote religious freedom and owns the site where Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was enacted; the statute that was the precursor of the religion causes in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Dr. Graz was praised at the event for his tireless efforts to promote religious freedom in many areas of the globe. During his acceptance speech, Dr. Graz noted his family’s rich history of defending human rights, including the example of his grandfather who perished in Dachau concentration camp where he was imprisoned by the Nazis for his role in helping Jews and French resistance members escape from occupied France to Switzerland. He also outlined his dream of active organizations in every corner of the world ensuring the promise of religious freedom becomes a daily reality.

“We are very proud of Dr. Graz,” notes Dr. Ted Wilson, the President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “His contribution to the field of religious freedom is outstanding, and it is not surprising that his stature in the field has been recognized at such a prestigious event. He is a great resource for our church; indeed, he is a great champion for all people of faith.”