CARLA host virtual convention: ring the bell!

31 Jul 2021 | CARU Communications

The Caribbean Union's Religious Liberty Association concluded its annual Religious Liberty Congress and Convention on July 24th, 2021. The short series began on the 21st July 2021 under the caption 'Grieving, Gullible, Yet Gracious, Ring The Bell'.

The Opening program of the seven-episode series was hosted by the Guyana Conference and the Opening Address was made by the Honorable Hugh Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Republic of Guyana. In his address, Minister Todd stated that 'we accept we are all endowed with certain rights and freedoms as provided by our Creator’ and 'no matter the actions of man, these rights cannot be taken away’. Minister Todd expressed his gratitude to the Guyana Conference, the Conference President and the people of the Caribbean Union region. The Minister reminded the audience that 'each of us has an opportunity to do good in the lives of others'.

Hon Hugh Todd during his address

In his address, President of the Caribbean Union Dr Kern Tobias spoke on the theme for the series ‘Grieving, Gullible, Yet Gracious, Ring The Bell’. He reminded listeners of the ‘three Ws that is now a part of the new normal: Wash our Hands, Wear our Mask and Watch our Distance.’ In his presentation, he surmised that the closure of borders, while a cost-saving reality has affected the personalization of an event such as this. Pastor Tobias reminded listeners that we are all representatives of Christ and he charged all listeners that "We must ring the bell of freedom by fighting on behalf of those who need our support, We must ring the bell of healing, compassion and love for our neighbours near and far, for those within and without our church".

Speaking on the theme of the congress, “Grieving, Gullible, Yet Gracious, Ring The Bell” President of the CARLA, Attorney Leslyn Charles referenced that some of the impositions realized across the Caribbean has touched the nerve of religious freedom. Speaking on the Covid-19 realities, the CARLA president indicated that among the affected, is the relegation of church service as a non-essential service and spoke of the perception that the wall of separation between the church and state is perceived as being destroyed. She reminded listeners that ‘all Christians, including Adventists, are dropping the Gospel ball as we have turned away from being emissaries of the Gospel’ and encouraged all to remember their heavenly citizenship.

This year’s event followed the virtual model similar to last year and averaged 1800 hundred views at the time of writing. This year's Conference’s speakers including Dr Carson Green, Dr Oscar Ocho, Pastor Anthony Hall, Dr James Daniel and others on a range of related topics.

Among the topics were the following:

  • The Law, Liberty & Sacrifice - South Leeward Mission
  • A Golden Opportunity – Ring the Bell  - North Caribbean Conference
  • Geopolitical Issues and Bleeding Hearts - St. Lucia Mission
  • Life with Covid-19 - Implications for the Church - ECC
  • Cooperation Without Compromise, Daniel - SCC and Tobago Mission
  • A Festival of Music from across the union

The Adventist Church strongly believes in religious freedom for all people. Adventist Religious Liberty through our department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) have advocated for these goals for more than 100 years. Within the Caribbean Union, this work is promoted and given voice by the Caribbean Union Religious Liberty Association (CARLA).  The ambassadors of Religious Liberty in the Caribbean Union are:

  • Leslyn Charles, President
  • Ps Anthony Hall Vice-President
  • Ps Onesi LaFleur - Vice President ( Ecclesiastical Affairs )
  • Ps Clive Dottin, PARL Director CARU
  • Ps Danforth Francis, PARL Director ECC
  • Ps Enoch Isaac, PARL Director Grenada Conference
  • Ps Terrence Haynes, PARL Director SVG Mission
  • Ps Alfred Joseph, PARL Director St.Lucia Mission
  • Ps Desmond James, PARL Director NCC
  • Wilfred Desvignes, PARL Director Tobago Mission
  • Ps Guno Emanuelson, PARL Director Suriname Mission
  • Ps Osley Edwards, PARL Director Guyana Conference
  • Susan L. Sealy, PRO
  • Joel Hazelwood, Treasurer
  • Natasha Hodge-Baker, Field Coordinator
  • Cyril Marshall, Assistant Secretary-General
  • Mineva Glasgow, Floor Member
  • Steven Byng, Floor Member
  • Randall Hector, Floor Member
  • Ruchama Koorndijk-de Jonge, Floor Member
  • Ian Green Floor Member


We give God thanks for the work of the ambassadors and their continued advocacy across the Southern Caribbean.