News Release

Is Religious Freedom a Reality in Africa?

Religious, governmental and academic leaders meet to protect religious freedoms in Africa. The conference was hosted by African Consortium of Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) and sponsored by the University of Addis Ababa, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owned, Brigham Young Universities Centre for Law and Religious Studies. The symposium focused on the role of freedom of religion in Africa.

The conference was opened by Hon. Kassa Tekleberhan, state minister of federal and pastoral development in Ethiopia.  

Elder Stanley G. Ellis, as part of the opening of the conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stated, “Religious liberty really needs to be the foundation of all other freedoms. Some of the greatest atrocities have been committed by religious people in the name of religion, against other religions."

 "And, he declared, that is wrong".

He urged the opinion leaders and law-makers present to go forth from the conferences standing for truth and right and to be an influence for good in their societies.  “All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing,” he said to the audience of over 80 people from 17 countries.

He told the conference that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe in religious freedom for all, and went on to state an article of faith of The Church which simply declares, “ We claim the privilege of worshipping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege.  Let them worship how, where or what they may”.

During the conference the Church leaders visited one the Christian Orthodox cathedrals and the Anwar mosque, one of the most sacred Islamic sites in Africa, in an ongoing effort to reach out to leaders of other faiths.


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