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 are not yet officially accepted, as it is the case with the Seventh Day Adventist church in Lithuania.” Secretary Mr. Hibner stated: “We cannot agree with the corrections which talk about the conditions for official acceptance, teaching of the Christian believes in the schools, official status of the religious communities and their property and some other issues that are presented in this new law project, that would seriously limit the rights of our church and other religious communities as well, which are promised by the Constitution.

It was agreed that each religious community would come up with the specific suggestions for the possible corrections in order to come up with the solutions that would be acceptable for each side. The meeting will continue its work next week. “Our goal is to seek the official acceptance by the Lithuanian government and call to the participation in that kind of work is a good thing,” said Mr. Hibner.

Mantas Kucinskas,
Communication Director of the Lithuanian Mission Field