Religious News Service
LEWISTON, MAINE, December 21, 2013 (by G. Jeffrey Macdonald, RNS): [HPI Note: The Christian Seventh-Day Adventists advocate a vegetarian diet.]
On a main drag dotted with fast food joints, a new Christian church-run restaurant is breaking the mold: It offers vegan fare as a healthy alternative in a low-income neighborhood. But for Seventh-day Adventists, who opened The Ark in a former Pizza Hut earlier this year, the project is no first. Adventists established meatless restaurants as early as the late 19th century in a bid to encourage healthy living.
Now, after decades of lackluster interest, the tradition is being revived. Eager to rekindle urban ministries, Adventists are feeding growing numbers of city dwellers hungry for meals that are good for both the body and the planet. "There's greater interest in vegetarian eating and healthful living now than ever," said David Trim, director of archives, statistics and research for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. "It's an idea whose time has come."
Adventists have opened new vegetarian restaurants this year in New York City, Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Tampere (Finland), according to Trim's records. Others have sprung up in recent years in cities as varied as San Francisco and Chattanooga, Tenn. More are in the works in countries from England to Brunei, a Muslim nation where Christian evangelism is banned but operating a restaurant is permitted.