In an alarming development, officials from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church physically silenced a small independent church in Guys, Tennessee having the name “The Creation and Seventh-day Adventist Church” under the order of a Tennessee district court. This draconian action took place on February 16, 2010 and included the removal of signs, books, flyers, promotional materials, hymnals, etc., anything that contained the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” The long standing conflict arises over a supposed trademark violation for using the name “Seventh-day Adventist” or even the word “Adventist”. The Seventh-day Church filed for trademark protection in 1981 and has used it to harass and threaten a number of small dissident groups and ministries over the years who used SDA trademarked names in their literature, promotional materials, signage, domain names, etc. If this latest act does not constitute religious persecution and harassment by using the arm of the state, then pray tell, what does? It is alarming to imagine that the Seventh-day Adventist church, who are quite proud to proclaim themselves to be the champions of religious liberty as part of the long standing heritage of the church history, turn around and deny those under the SDA umbrella the same privilege that they would defend for others outside the fold. Is this not hypocrisy of the worst kind? God forbid to think to what end they will go to next in an effort to stifle this most basic rite that God has given to man, the liberty of conscience.
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