homas Kelly rightly observes, “We cannot die on every cross.” Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to get paralyzed by the countless needs of humanity. The Adventist Church provides a wonderful selection of ministries that are often documented in these pages, and has addressed many of the following pro-life human rights issues and groups that we can all stand up for (see below for references).
I encourage you to choose two you truly care about. Get involved!
The Arms Industry
From 1998-2001 the United States, France, and the United Kingdom earned more income from selling weapons to developing countries than they gave in aid. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said, “We can’t have it both ways. We can’t be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of arms” (see www.controlarms.org).
Sex Trafficking and Child Prostitution
An estimated 2 million women and children are held in sexual servitude around the world. I can think of no more hideous existence for a child (see www.captivedaughters.org and “Prostitution, Trafficking, and Women,” by Mindi Rahn, Adventist Review, May 13, 2004).
Asylum for Refugees
Jesus was a refugee. Fortunately, He and His parents were granted asylum in Egypt. Today, millions of people are seeking a safe place for their families to escape persecution and butchery (see www.refugee-action.org).
“Tobacco use is one of the largest preventable causes of disease and premature death in the world. . . . Halving tobacco consumption now would save 150 million lives by 2050” (see www.international cancerfoundation.com and www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/
In Africa and Asia the pandemic HIV/AIDS is undoing decades of development. Globally about 40 million people are infected--2 million are children. Education in this area is an amazingly effective change agent (see various “AIDS in Africa” sites, www.adra.org and search for “AIDS,” www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/index.html).
Prisoners of Conscience
A prisoner of conscience is someone who is imprisoned solely for their beliefs. Amnesty International is a nonpolitical organization of more than 1.8 million members who peacefully defend the defenders of human rights, who are being tortured, raped, imprisoned, and killed (see www.amnestyusa.org/prisoners_of_conscience/).
Space does not allow details of many other worthy causes: literacy; violence against women; universal health care for children; ending extreme poverty through the ONE Campaign; Doctors Without Borders; eradicating land mines; and the Invisible Children of Northern Uganda.