Barry Bussey writes a moving tribute to Karel Nowak, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Euro-Africa Division who fell victim to a tragedy on August 19. Bussey discusses Nowak’s view of religious liberty ministry.
Shortly before I left the work at the GC office I had an opportunity to sit down with Karel and ask him what he would say to the person who would replace him. What words of wisdom would he give. He had shared with me that he planned to retire when his current term of office had come to an end. I had no idea that this question would prove to be such an important question. Karel told me, “my understanding of the service I am trying to provide to the church is similar to the service provided by ADRA in a humanitarian area. I think that the global church needs three type of services provided by the PARL department:”
- the church needs to be constantly reminded of the principles and importance of religious freedom;
- the church needs to be known in the society as a community that promotes and protects religious freedom;
- the church needs to get reliable, correct information about the legal and social situation in every country.
The PARL department has two primary functions, according to Karel, first it is to provide information about the legal and social issues of religious freedom in the given country; and second, it is to be involved in creating a positive image of the Adventist church to the community.