Since 1901, the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) has represented the Seventh-day Adventist Church to governments, religious bodies, and international organizations. By supporting, protecting and defending religious freedom and human rights for all people everywhere, PARL speaks for the church on public affairs and shares Adventist values of freedom of worship and belief. In addition to its function at the General Conference, PARL operates offices on Capitol Hill for representative work to the U.S. Congress, and also in New York City for United Nations liaison.
Conducting congresses, conferences, and other events worldwide to promote religious freedom, inter-faith dialogue, and human rights, PARL helps develop crucial understanding between government officials and religious leaders of all persuasions.
PARL also sponsors, on behalf of the church, the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA), a non-sectarian organization dedicated to the cause of religious freedom. Seventh-day Adventist leaders were the first to organize such an association, which serves as an umbrella for many regional and national religious liberty affiliates around the world. These connections bring involvement from Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Baptist, Mormon and many other religious persuasions, working together for the religious freedom of all.
The Adventist church is committed to the principle meaning of religious freedom: The differences in religions, throughout the world, should be respected. What we choose to believe and how we choose to worship should be according to the dictates of our conscience. The IRLA continues to defend the right to religious freedom worldwide, by helping all religions find a common ground.