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[Religion] Many Seventh-Day Adventists Believe You Must Be Vegan to Be Saved

While Seventh-day Adventists around the world have heeded their co-founder’s teachings on eating a plant-based diet, veganism has risen for some adherents to a place next to godliness.

Denominational researchers found that many members in South Asia believe salvation is ensured two ways: through Jesus Christ (92%), and through giving up meat, animal products, alcohol, and tobacco (80%). Within the denomination’s East-Central Africa Division—which has the second-most vegan or vegetarian members (42%)—three-quarters of members (74%) maintain that dietary choices contribute to salvation.

“The data suggest that Adventist Church leadership needs to engage in further member education to differentiate and avoid confusion between the benefits of adhering to the Adventist Health Message and the Church’s belief that the actual source of salvation is through Jesus Christ alone,” wrote Andrews University sociologist Duane McBride, lead author on a recent paper in the Review of Religious Research.