News Release

Elder Christofferson promotes Freedom of Religion in Recent African Visit


Elder Christofferson in June spoke at a freedom festival patriotic service.  He stated, “Religious participation in public life is not only part of American history and a constitutionally protected freedom; it’s also good for our nation. All laws and government policies are based on values—religious or otherwise. Everyone has a right to be heard—“to compete”—in the marketplaces of ideas and in influencing governmental decisions. To silence one voice potentially leads to silencing all others.”

He went on to say, “Religious voices are at least as deserving of being heard as any others. In fact, churches and other religious organizations bring unique experiences and perspectives to public policy debates. They recognize corrosive social forces that threaten faith, family, and freedom. They know personally about the hardships of family breakdown, unemployment, poverty, drug abuse, and numerous other social ills. Why? Because they are on the front lines helping individuals and families work through these wrenching problems. When they speak out they do so not for selfish reasons like the special interest groups that constantly lobby our public officials but out of concern for the people they minister to, their families, and society itself. They bring a moral—often cautionary—voice to matters of social and public policy that we desperately need in this age of materialism, self-promotion, and disruptive change. The perspectives of Churches and religious leaders make an irreplaceable contribution to our ongoing democratic conversation about how we should live together. Their voices are essential".

Advocate Willis is the recorder for a new web site in Johannesburg, 'Freedom of Religion South Africa'.

It is a non-profit Christian organization working to protect and promote religious freedom in South Africa, through creating awareness and influencing government and society regarding issues that affect our religious freedom.

Willis and Elder Christofferson spoke of the need for all to stand for religious freedom.

‘Increasingly, laws are proposed that make the State rather than the Bible the highest authority on what Christians should believe, and how they should act according to those beliefs. Many of these laws subscribe to a secular liberalist world-view and as such, are in direct conflict with Christian and family values.

This is a serious threat to the constitutional rights of religious freedom, freedom of religious expression, freedom of association and the rights of religious communities. Our Constitutional Court has recognised that together these rights give churches a degree of autonomy to govern their own affairs.’

“The constitutional right to practice one’s religion is of fundamental importance in an open and democratic society. It is one of the hallmarks of a free society.”

– The Honourable Justice Sachs in Christian Education SA v Minister of Education v Minister of Education (2000) (Constitutional Court) [1]

Both agree that standing up for religious freedom is paramount in today’s society.

A new section of has been launched by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help Mormons learn about religious freedom and know what they can do to protect it. Church leaders encourage members to use the new online resources to be better informed as they engage in public dialogue on the issue. 


#religiousfreedom #dtoddchristofferson

Additional Resources

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.