News Release

Two Prominent Guests from South Africa Hosted by Church in Salt Lake City

Brigham Young University, in conjunction with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hosted two prominent South African Religious freedom activists on 6-8 October, 2013 - Judge Eberhard Bertlesmann and Dr. Rene Ferguson. 

Judge Bertlesman is a Judge of the High Court in Gauteng and founder of the Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa. He figured prominently in the 20th Law and Religion Symposium held at the Church's Brigham Young University this October.  He spoke about the Judicial Conceptions of Religious Freedom and Human Rights, and sat with four high court Judges from around the world on a panel discussing the tensions that may exist in handling religious freedom cases.  

Dr. Rene Ferguson, a human rights education Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, teaches religious studies, human rights and democratic citizenship to education students.  She presented a paper and sat on a lively panel at the Symposium.  The two guests were very active in the Symposium and well received.  Dr. Ferguson commented that the entire visit, which included visits to the Humanitarian Center, General Conference, Temple Square, and meetings with members and Church leaders as well as the Symposium, was a living testimony of the Church's Christian values and humanity.

The Church strongly advocates religious freedom across the world by sponsoring such events. Brigham Young University, which hosts a Law and Religion Symposium annually in Provo Utah, will host a special regional event in May 2014 in Cape Town.

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