The Seventh-day Adventist Church released five statements Sunday on hot-button topics including violence against women and children, creation and global poverty.
"The statement was couched in the framework of dealing with extreme poverty," said Lowell C. Cooper, a world church vice president, of the latter issue. The global Protestant denomination supports the United Nations' goal toreduce the world's poor by at least 50 percent by 2015, he added.</p>
Cooper briefly presented the positions to delegates in a business meeting at the Georgia Dome during the church's 59th General Conference Session. The statements, which the church's executive committee approved June 23, were presented for information only.</p>
The Adventist Church reaffirmed its support of the biblical account of <span>creation; its efforts to "nurture and <span>safeguard children and youth from persons...whose actions perpetrate any form of abuse and violence against them"; and its belief in the importance of being able to speak about religion freely, with government restrictions in only limited situations.</p>
"Seventh-day Adventists recognize that <span>defamation of religion can be a very, very volatile topic in many communities, perhaps in all areas of the world," Cooper said. "We need to learn how to use freedom of speech when we are talking about values and beliefs held dearly by other people."</p>
Described as a companion to the statement about child safety, the position on violence against women is purposely gender-specific because "global statistics indicate that in all societies, women and girls are more frequently the victims of violence," Cooper said.</p>