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The president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, Daniel R. Jackson, issued the following statement on December 8, 2014 in response to the growing number of demonstrations following the grand jury decisions rendered in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in N.Y.:
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Eric Garner and the heartache it has caused his family and community. We extend our deepest condolences and continue to pray for his family.
“The recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo. in the death of Michael Brown and Mr. Garner in N.Y. have stirred great emotions in the hearts of many Americans who question the equity with which all of God’s children are treated. Many citizens, including Seventh-day Adventist pastors, educators, and students have participated in non-violent marches, peacefully calling for equality and asking for change. We continue to support the right, which we are afforded in this country, to peacefully speak out and call for change.
“It is time for our society to engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about the rights and equality of every member of our community. We pray that the tragedy of these two deaths will bring about much needed change and address the pain that many ethnic groups are facing in this country. We pray that awareness will lead to a two-way conversation that will lead to healing.
“We pray that those on either side of this conversation will speak with peace, love, and grace.
“We pray for the day when all of God’s children treat each other without suspicion, bias, and hatred. As the Apostle Paul reminds us: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’”