From APD, December 18, 2016:    Adventist Pastor Dragutin Matak of Croatia was honored with the Croatian Helsinki Committee’s 2016 Human Rights Award. Matak received the award in Zagreb on December 9 for his commitment to human rights, religious freedom and interfaith dialogue.

In addition to his role as an Adventist pastor, Matak is a theologian and the secretary general of the Croatian Society for Religious Freedom.

He was part of a Croatian delegation of church representatives that visited Iran in 2016 to meet with the country’s religious and political leaders.

In conjunction with the award, the Trans-European Division of the Adventist Church released a statement affirming the commitment of the Adventist Church in Croatia to fully supporting the issues of religious freedom and human rights.

Receiving the award, Matak emphasized the need for personal moral obligations to human freedom and religious freedom.

Two other honorees at the Croatian Helsinki Committee event were Dr. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on violence against women, as well as journalist Dr. Inoslav Bešker.

The Croatian Helsinki Committee
was established in March 1993 to protect and promote human rights in Croatia. Though it began as a branch of the International Helsinki Federation, since 2003 it has been recognized under Croatian law as an official non-governmental organization.

APD is the Adventist news service in Europe. Photo of Dragutin Matak (left) courtesy of APD.