Monday, June 23, 2008


John McCaain and Jon Graz

About John Graz, Secretary GeneralInternational Religious Liberty Association

Dr John Graz, a citizen of both Switzerland and France, was born at Thonon-les-bains, France. His father was Swiss, and his family has lived in Switzerland for centuries. He was elected Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) in 1995, and he served as liaison to the United Nations at Geneva.

John Graz studied theology, history of religion, and sociology of communication, obtaining his Master's Degree at the University of Montpellier, and his Doctorate from the Sorbonne University in Paris.

He began his career as a pastor for students in Montpellier, France and then worked in Pau, and in 1989 in Paris as a church Communication Director for 6 years.

John Graz was also director of an international youth organization for ten years, a guest speaker for many international congresses, and has organized major international meetings in Europe and throughout the world. He organized the Fourth IRLA World Congress on Religious Liberty in Rio de Janeiro in 1997, the Fifth IRLA World Congress in Manila in 2002, and is planning one for Cape Town in 2007. Graz organized and initiated the annual IRLA Meetings of Experts for Religious Freedom, the Festival of Religious Freedom, The Washington Coalition for International Religious Freedom with Ambassador Robert Seiple and many International Congresses which have been held in several capital cities around the world. With his team, he has developed the IRLA world network in more than 80 countries.

Since the beginning of his career Dr Graz has been involved in the promotion and defense of religious freedom. For ten years he was Public Relations Director for the Association Internationale pour la Défense de la Liberté Religieuse in Europe. He has produced radio and television programs and currently is Executive Producer of the TV show Faith and Freedom. He has written several books and numerous articles, some of which have been translated into more than ten languages. He is the publisher of the journal on religious freedom, Fides et Libertas.

John Graz grew up in a family that accepted religious diversity. His father was Protestant, but was not a churchgoer; his mother was Catholic; one of his aunts was an Evangelical; and the other was a Seventh-day Adventist. All lived in good harmony and mutual respect. For the Graz family, freedom has great value. All his mother's brothers and sisters joined the Allies during World War II. An uncle was killed during the war, and his grandfather died in the Dachau concentration camp for having helped Jews and the French resistance.

In July 1995, Dr Graz was elected director of the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is a member of the John Weidner Foundation's Board, and in 2002 was elected, then reelected in 2004, as Secretary General of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Christian Communions—a conference of Christian leaders representing two billion Christians. He is also a member of the Board of the International Academy of Religious Freedom. He has been Director for External Relations for the International Center on Government and Religion at Andrews University.

In December 2004 he was awarded the National Medal For Merit in Rank of Commander by the President of Romania.

John Graz is married to Medina Chitty Graz, and they have three sons who currently live in Switzerland.


Religious Freedom and John Graz

My father was Protestant, but a non-churchgoer. My mother was Catholic, but she became very interested by the Adventist religion in her later years. My aunt was an Adventist. I grew up in Catholicism without burning the bridges to Protestantism.

When I was 16, I gave up my faith and my religious beliefs. My cousin, who was like a sister to me, died when she was 19. I was 18 at the time. She was a good Adventist and a very good witness for me. Talking with members of her SDA church, I was impressed by their convictions. I read the Bible and was so impressed by God's love that I became a Christian and an Adventist. My life was totally changed. I left my job and began attending college.

From childhood, I was exposed to many different religions and learned how to deal with them. I also learned to have strong convictions in respecting other's convictions.

From the beginning of my ministry, I have been involved in interchurch relations and religious freedom. I organized the lectures of Dr. Pierre Lanares and produced Radio-TV programs on religious freedom. I worked six years at the Franco-Belgian Union as Communication director, working closely with the Religious Liberty director.

Then for ten years I was in Public Relations for the Association Internationale pour la Defense de la Liberte religieuse, with Dr. Rossi.

In my family, we learned the price of freedom. My four uncles and aunt were volunteers with the Allies against the Nazis. One was killed. My grandfather died in the concentration camp of Dachau.



Position Director, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Department of State liaison, United Nations liaison, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist headquarters, Silver Spring, Maryland, August 1995-Present
Secretary General, International Religious Liberty Association


Education Ph.D., History, Paris Sorbonne University, Paris, France, 1986
MA, History, University Paul Valery, Montpellier, France, 1974
License in History, University Montpellier, France, 1973
License in Theology, Saleve Adventist University, Collonges, France, 1971
BA, University Grenoble, University Montpellier, France, 1970


Languages French, English; understands German, Italian, Spanish


Credentials Pastoral: Arles, France, 1979


Former Service Youth/Communication Director, Euro-Africa Div: Berne, Switzerland, 1985-95
Communication Director, Franco-Belgium Union, 1979-1985
Pastor, South France Conference: France PAUC1971-79
Organized 4 international Youth Congresses (1988, 1989, 1991, 1994)
Organized World Congress on Religious Liberty (1997 Rio de Janeiro)
President of Student Association, CEVE 1971-1975 Montpellier, France
Founder, BIA (Adventist Information Bulletin)


Other Positions Radio/TV producer/speaker 1979-1985
Member, Christian World Communion
Advisor, Christian World Council of Churches Committee
Rotary Club Member

Member of John Weidner Foundation Board
Speaker for Liberty Magazine Tour in North America
Member of the Board, International Academy of Religious Freedom


Literary 101 Questions Adventists Ask, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2000 (10 languages)
World Youth Spiritual Week, General Conference, Silver Spring MD, 1997
L'avenir est moi, Vie et santé, Dammarie, 1996 (9 languages)
Sur le chemin de l'éternité, Belle rivière, Lausanne, 1994 (4 languages, 2 editions)
Réussir sa vie, Vie et santé, Dammarie, 1993 (9 languages, 2 editions)
Une histoire d'amour, Vie et santé, Dammarie, 1989 (8 languages)
Le courage de vivre, SDT, Dammarie, 1978 (8 languages)
S'enrichir, mourir et puis, SDT, Dammarie, 1976 (8 languages)
Numerous articles translated in several languages

Doctoral Dissertation: Radio and TV's Protestant Programs: The Public Response,

(History and Sociology) 1986
Masters Dissertation: SDA Church History and Growth, (History) 1974
License Dissertation: The 13th Century Movements of Poverty, (History) 1971


Personal Born Thonon-les-bains, Haute Savoie, France, August 29, 1945
Married Medina Chitty, 1968
Children David, 1969, Olivier, 1973, Yohann, 1975


P.S. ~ Observation:
  • Secretary General of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Christian Communions--World Council of Churches. "I thought the Conference claimed it didn't belong to it." see proof @
  • Director for External Relations for the International Center on Government and Religion at Andrews University. Separation of Church and State violation.
  • Department of State liaison, United Nations liaison Association with the unbelievers; Church and State Conflict; Compromise with World Government: See - II Corinthians 6:14*.
  • Rotary Club Member? Read 2SM:pp121-140: Should Christians Be Members of Secret Societies? or Maranatha, p.182.
You can't have it both ways; Give to Caesar what belongs to ...and to God what belongs to HIM.

Hear it from the conference's (GCSDA) own dubious sources: