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Mormon Apostle Addresses Religious Persecution Conference at Windsor

Published on Sep 11, 2016
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was invited to participate in a religious persecution conference by Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, a member of the British Parliament’s House of Lords, and founder of the international charitable foundation, AMAR. The focus of the conference is religious persecution and it impact on forced migration.


At Windsor Castle, Elder Holland says world needs more outrage over refugees' plight (+video)

The sexual violence and persecution of refugees is a crisis deserveing more global outrage, said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles over the weekend at a conference at famous Windsor Castle in England.
"The world needs to be more outraged than it is," he said, "when we read of the persecution, the violence, the sexual violence, the murder, the rape, the destruction of families and any social structure that these people have had — almost entire cultures being destroyed."
Elder Holland is participating in a five-day conference titled "Religious Persecution: The Driver for Forced Migration" at Windsor Castle, home of British royalty for 900 years and an official residence of the Queen of England.
He pointed to religious freedom, belief and activity as keys to improving the plight of refugees. He shared research showing that high levels of religious freedom correlate with fewer incidents of armed conflict, high levels of health and earned income and better educational opportunities for women.
"We need to realize," he said, "that reducing restrictions on religion, particularly when these restrictions are targeted against minorities, is one additional component in the solution to forced migrations."
Elder Holland is participating at the conference at the invitation of Baroness Emma Nicholson, who is the chair and founder of the AMAR Foundation and a member of the United Kingdom's House of Lords.
AMAR and LDS Charities partner in relief efforts in the Middle East. A year ago, at Nicholson's invitation, Elder Holland spoke last year at the annual meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Foreign Affairs at the U.K. Parliament.
"We have remarkable wisdom here," Nicholson said at this week's conference. "This wonderful, peaceful castle is of course a world away from the lives now being endured by many millions of people across the Middle East. In these next few days together it is imperative that we investigate the root causes of centuries-old hostilities. Why has religious persecution become the main driver for forced migration, and how do we stop these atrocities from happening in the future?”
Nicholson chairs the House of Lord's Select committee on sexual violence and conflict. The committe recently release a report on the problem of sexual violence that found that peace negotiations and lasting peace are less likely to succeed if women are not directly in.
"We need that powerful and unique female force for good," Elder Holland said. "Emma Nicholson is a magnificent example of the very empowerment of which we speak. She has done a herculean work in advancing this cause, and we are all indebted to her."
Elder Holland also said religious belief helps individuals deal with crises.
"I do believe that religious rights are human rights," he said. "The value of religion is that we have something to anchor to, we have something to believe in, we have hope, we have faith. Those are religious words. People can face a crisis, a difficulty and a challenge in their life better with religious faith than without."
The conference concludes Wednesday. Elder Holland will speak once more, on the Mormon refugee experience.


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