Committee of the Netherlands Union of Seventh-day Adventists, on 17 May 2011 unanimously pronounced itself against violence towards homosexuals, which goes in harmony with the Statement on Human Relations by General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters*.
Violence against homosexual men and women – subtle or less subtle – occurs regularly in this country. They are beaten up, harassed, bullied or called names and on occasions their cars are damaged or their houses plastered with hate language. In many places they dare not to be open about being homosexual.
On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), the members of the committee, as representatives of churches in the Netherlands, declare as follows:
‘We do not all have the same views on homosexuality, but we are one in the belief that all human beings are created in God’s image and are precious in His eyes. Therefore people should treat each other with dignity – respectfully, peacefully and affectionately – and violence against homosexuals, in any form, is completely unacceptable.
To any type of violation of human rights we say: that it is wrong. Today we emphasise this, in particular, the violation of the human rights of homosexuals. This includes all forms of physical, psychological and verbal violence against homosexuals, as well as inciting these expressions of violence. Those who use violence against fellow human beings, made in the image of God, ignore Christ’s appeal to love God and their neighbour. Also in our own communities of faith the human dignity of homosexuals has been damaged by uncharitable and unsympathetic behaviour.
We dedicate ourselves to defend in every way the dignity of all people. We call on worshippers in our congregations to refrain from promoting any form of violence against homosexuals. Churches desire, after the example of Christ, to be places of openness and understanding, a safe haven for all, including homosexuals.
We call on everyone, whatever their place in society, to offer an environment in which homosexuals feel safe and in that way contribute to a healthier social climate.
We will endeavour, in our international ecclesiastical contacts and in our contacts with representatives of other faiths, to oppose homophobia, hatred and violence against homosexuals.’
*A Statement on Human Relations by General Conference Seventh-day Adventists deplore and seek to combat all forms of discrimination based on race, tribe, nationality, color, or gender. We believe that every person was created in the image of God, who made all nations of one blood (Acts 17:26). We endeavor to carry on the reconciling ministry of Jesus Christ, who died for the whole world so that in Him "there is neither Jew nor Greek" (Gal. 3:28). Any form of racism eats the heart out of the Christian gospel. One of the most troubling aspects of our times is the manifestation of racism and tribalism in many societies, sometimes with violence, always with the denigration of men and women. As a worldwide body in more than 200 nations, Seventh-day Adventists seek to manifest acceptance, love, and respect toward all, and to spread this healing message throughout society. The equality of all people is one of the tenets of our church. Our Fundamental Belief No. 13 states: "In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him, and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation." This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and was released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg, at the General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 29-July 8, 1995.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3188