• Latvia and Lithuania: Adventists Recognised As One Of A Traditional Churches

    Latvia and Lithuania: On Thursday, September 4, a delegation of the Adventist Church led by Union Baltic President Valdis Zilgalvis met Officials of the Lithuanian and Latvian governments in Vilnius and in Riga. General vice President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Dr. Eugene Hsu and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Director Dr. John de Graz met with Jānis Šmits, the chairperson of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee and the member of the Citizenship Law Implementation Committee of the Latvian Parliament. In Lithuanian they met with the Honourable Gintaras Steponavicius, MP, Head of Religious Affairs of the Lithuanian Parliament. Church leaders congratulated both governments of both countries for practising…

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  • Lithuania: Government recognizes Adventist Church

    The Lithuanian government granted the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s application for state recognized status on July 15, qualifying the church for state subsidies and certain tax exemptions, as well as excusing theology students and clergy from military service. “State recognition for the Seventh-day Adventist church in Lithuania means that its contribution to public life and culture is recognized,” said Bertold Hibner, president of the Adventist Church in Lithuania. “I hope that the church will see it as a strong commission to serve and proclaim to the community the good news of the gospel.” Lithuanian law separates religious communities into four categories: traditional, state recognized, registered and unregistered. Only traditional and state…

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  • Church In Lithuania Receives State-recognized Status

    Vilnius, Lithuania. In 15th of July 2008 Lithuanian parliament granted to the Seventh-day Adventist church the state-recognized status of the religious community. Lithuanian law concerning the religious communities divides them into traditional, state-recognized and other registered religious communities. The Adventist Church applied to Lithuanian parliament for state-recognized status in 2003. The Lithuanian parliament considered the request twice, first time postponing the decision. Two months after the first hearing of the request, with a few corrections, it was presented for an additional hearing. This time it was approved by a majority, with three members of the parliament abstaining. “This is an important and significant event for the Seventh-day Adventist church in…

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  • Latvia: Adventist Church Moving Towards Official Recognition, Church Leader Says

    October 11, 2006 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States …. [Mark A. Kellner/ANN] More than a century after the first Seventh-day Adventists began working in the nation, the church in Latvia is on the verge of official recognition as a traditional faith by the government, according to regional church president Valdis Zilgalvis. The move, contained in legislation which has had the second of three readings in the country’s legislature, known as the Saeima, will make it easier for Adventist congregations and members to practice their faith in the country of 2.25 million people. Latvia, an Eastern European country located between Estonia and Lithuania on the edge of the Baltic Sea, became…

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  • Lithuania: Adventist Church Moves Toward Recognition

    First registered by the national government of Lithuania in 1926, some 76 years ago, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is moving toward official recognition by the Lithuanian Parliament, according to Bertold Hibner, secretary for the church in Lithuania. A decision by the state will expand the rights of the denomination and confirm its place in society. Hibner said that approval could come later this year or early in 2004. The Adventist Church was reregistered in 1996 under the independent Lithuanian government, and is able to conduct services and buy property in the name of church officials. Recognition by the state will mean that the church is understood to contribute to the…

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  • Discussions About the Religious Communities in Lithuania

    Vilnius, Lithuania. Representatives of all the denominations where invited to the meeting with the head of the Human Rights committee for the Lithuanian Republic, Mr. Dalinkevicius and other members of the government. Representatives from the Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Reformed, New Apostolic and Seventh-day Adventist churches where present. The Seventh Day Adventist church was represented by the Lithuanian Mission Field (LMF) President Danielius Ozhelis and LMF Secretary Bertold Hibner. The meeting was called to discuss the new law project about the religious communities, which was presented for the members of the Parliament. “There where some things that we could not agree upon”, said Mr. Hibner, “It discriminates all religious communities that…

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