To worship God according to conscience and to share Christ’s love are cherished freedoms not universally enjoyed. The government of God is based on freedom of choice. God chose to create humanity also with the power of choice. “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil... blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut 30:15, 19).
Free exercise of religion is like a fragile flower; it must receive the most vigorous protection possible and the most gentle care to be found. Within it, freedom of conscience thrives or is throttled.
Revelation 13 points to a political power that will arise in the last days causing people to “worship” another religion-political power. Religion and politics are symbolized in Revelation 17 by an apostate church being sustained by the government. The persecuting power of this union of church and state is illustrated by the woman who becomes drunk with the blood of the saints.
What, then, are we to do about threats to religious freedom? Ellen White says, “It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger. We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people. We should bring before them the real question at issue, thus interposing the most effectual protest against measures to restrict liberty of conscience” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 452).