Tireless Advocate for Religious Freedom Comes to California

Written by Alan Reinach

 
This past week, Dr John Graz, a man of many titles, including Director of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty for the Seventh-day Adventist world church, spent a busy week promoting religious freedom in California. He met with student groups at Pacific Union College, La Sierra University and several academies; preached at the Pacific Union College Church; and met with legislators at the state capitol.

Graz attended two dinners sponsored by the Adventist Attorneys Association. On Saturday evening, February 25, at the first such dinner, Assemblyperson Mariko Yamada was presented with an award from the Church State Council for her authorship of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, AB 1964.

Dr. Graz reported on the international work of spotlighting religious liberty through Festivals of Religious Freedom, including stadium events with 45,000 people present. He spoke of Christians persecuted for their faith and urged students, lawyers, and church members to do their part to protect and defend religious freedom, working with organizations like the Church State Council, regionally; the North American Religious Liberty Association, nationally; and the International Religious Liberty Association.  These groups are all sponsored by the church.

He also promoted the Freedom Classroom initiative, where interested students can enjoy a subsidized trip to Washington DC and other historical sites, and at the same time have an in-depth exposure to religious liberty history and advocacy.

Most of all, Dr. Graz inspired us all with his commitment, compassion, and enthusiasm. All were blessed to see the quality of leadership our church is providing in this critically important international arena.