Jamaica: Adventists want exams set on Sabbath rescheduled

Jamaica Observer:–  MONTEGO BAY, St James — Director of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Nigel Coke is upbeat over talks with the minister of education about alternative dates for SDA students whenever examinations fall on the Sabbath.

“We have had communication from anxious and concerned students who have stated that they have exam days on the Sabbath at the end of this semester in May. To that end, we (a team from the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) had a meeting with the minister of education (Senator Ruel Reid) and his team two weeks ago and a proposal is being put forward, and we are expecting a favourable response,” Coke revealed.

He said that “the principle is that there should be no discrimination against students because of their religious beliefs, practices or observances”.

“If exams, field trips, labs, et cetera are timetabled in a manner that infringes a student’s right against religious discrimination then, by the principle of accommodation, the educational institution should set and offer an alternate date and time for the exam, field trip, lab, et cetera, that does not infringe the student’s right to practise his/her religious belief or observance,” Coke argued.

He was speaking at the SDA Religious Liberty Festival, held under the theme ‘Religious Freedom, Our Human Right’ at King’s Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mount Salem, St James, on Saturday.

In the meantime, president of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Glen Samuels expressed his gratitude to president of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) Howard Mitchell and employers who respect the religious rights of workers.

“I would like to thank the president of the PSOJ for his understanding of religious freedom and for his stout statement for those under his umbrella. I would like to thank all employment agencies I want to thank all employers who are respecting the religious freedom of persons, whether they worship on Saturday or Sunday, to give them the privilege to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience,” Pastor Samuels noted.

He added: “It is always a threat when the obedience of a people will cause them to lose their jobs because employment agencies are either prejudiced against their religion or sometimes fail to recognise their religious rights.”

Meanwhile, Coke conceded that by the nature of some businesses, the employees are required to work on the Sabbath.

“I advise that members be very selective in their profession and work because, in some situations, we cannot bend the arm of any employer who has his business to run and basically requires that you are there,” Coke recommended.

Coke also called on members to be a voice of freedom and say “No to religious discrimination”.

3 Comments

  1. Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
    May 2, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    They would never object to Sunday worshipers being forced to take exams on Sunday or forced to play ball games on Sunday. They teach that Jesus will kill all Sunday worshipers when He returns and those will not be saved.

  2. Barry Gowland
    May 2, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I hope to God that the teachings ascribed to us by Russell Earl Kelly are NOT held by any professed Seventh-day Adventist! As one who has been and SDA since 1964 I have great respect for some Sunday-keepers in Scotland, especially those north of the Great Glen. They still have a high view of the Decalogue, something that has, alas, ceased to be part of the belief-system of the great majority of professing British Christians.

  3. Greg
    May 3, 2018 at 9:05 am

    The SDA church is a Sabbatarian cult. I was born & raised in SDA Mecca (aka Berrien Springs). They believe they are THE remnant and by a “closer relationship to the Lord” you will come to understand the needfulness of a vegetarian lifestyle, the supreme importance of Ellen G. White (whom they actually dare to call “a lesser light), and the over-all importance of Sabbath keeping. They have a distorted view of Jesus Christ, believing He is Michael the angel. They refuse to acknowledge that when Christ said it was finished, it was – instead they believe He stands in the most Holy Place still interceeding, essentially sacrificing repeatedly. They worship under the Old Testement, not understanding that it was not abolished but FULFILLED. They have welcomed Muslims to preach at Andrews University. They are the largest abortion providers in California. II Tim 3:5 “holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!”

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