Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders are inviting members to join the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on Sunday, September 21 by responding to a call for a minute of silence at noon with prayer.
In prepared remarks for the upcoming day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged people to reflect on peace. “We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict. Peace is a long road that we must travel together—step by step, beginning today.”
The Adventist Church has promoted peacemaking efforts since its inception. In one of its official statements on peace the Church acknowledged that “Jesus wants his followers to be peacemakers in society and hence calls them blessed.”
John Graz, director of the Adventist Church’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department, said, “Durable peace can not be built without developing education, health, justice and freedom for all people. That’s why the Adventist Church has heavily invested in schools, hospitals and organizations promoting freedom of conscience.”
Graz described the International Day of Peace as a “time to strengthen the ideals of peace, and to celebrate those who dedicate their lives to peace making.”
Church leaders in various parts of the world where conflict is a present concern reflected on the theme of peace.
Homer Trecartin, president of the Church’s Middle East North Africa Union said, “I believe more than ever before that real peace will come when we are willing to follow the example of Jesus and suffer wrong without retaliation or revenge.”
Guillermo Biaggi, president of the denomination’s Euro-Asia Division said peace is something difficult to achieve and easy to lose. “We need to base it in a stronger, more permanent and unshakable foundation than human words, treaties and agreements. For peace to become true in our lives and modern societies, we need to pray earnestly to our Lord and to count with the One Who said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.”