From Adventist News Network – The Seventh-day Adventist Church has selected Ganoune Diop, a theologian and multi-linguist, as its new voice at the United Nations.
Former mission study centers director will also contribute to IRLA
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has selected Ganoune Diop, a theologian and multi-linguist, as its new voice at the United Nations.
Diop, originally from Senegal, takes up his responsibilities this month as the associate director of the denomination’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department, where he will represent the church at the United Nations in Geneva and in New York. He will also contribute to PARL’s work with the International Religious Liberty Association.
He is an academic, administrator, and a musician who has lived and worked on three continents.
Diop replaces Barry Bussey, who served in the position since 2008 and left earlier this year to take a position in Canada.
“Dr. Diop’s cross-cultural experience, education, and desire to serve his church, make him extraordinarily well-suited to his new responsibilities,” said John Graz, PARL department director.
Diop has served as a church pastor, a conference Sabbath School director, a professor of Biblical Languages, Exegesis, and Theology at Saleve Adventist University in France, and later at Southern Adventist University and Oakwood University in the United States. In his most recent assignment, he served as director of the five Global Mission Study Centers of the Office of Adventist Mission.
Diop holds a master’s degree in philology and a doctorate in Old Testament studies. In 2008, he told ANN that he’s comfortable conversing in 10 languages.
Diop said an important focus of his new role will be to “make the case before representatives of nations that they benefit from having Adventists live in their countries, freely practicing their religion and lifestyle.”
“Our various services to humanity — healthcare systems, education institutions, organizations for the support of human rights, development and relief agencies — all these things are focused on improving the quality of life within communities,” he said.
Diop says he will draw principles to guide his work from the life and example of Jesus Christ. “Jesus showed through His life and teachings that he was certainly a diplomat,” he says. “He did not, for example, force Himself on humanity, but through appeals, dialogues, conversations, negotiations, based on respect for human dignity, he shared His values. He appealed to the deepest values he inscribed in people he created in His own image.”
Delbert Baker, a general vice president of the world church, who also serves as an adviser to the the PARL department, says Diop will bring will a unique line-up of abilities to his role as an international church diplomat.
“He brings a deep commitment to his faith and a wealth of experience to this pivotal role of spokesperson for the church within the international arena,” Baker said.