Church launches new resources to protect religious freedom

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched new resources in early September as part of a campaign to encourage citizens everywhere to protect religious freedom for all faiths.

These new resources are part of a Church campaign to urge all citizens to actively protect the right to religious liberty.

“Besides protecting our own rights, we must protect the rights of others, including the most vulnerable and unpopular. No one should be belittled for following their moral conscience,” said Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve, in a new video released by the Church.

Additional resources include an eight-minute video that focuses on the importance of protecting religious freedom, a Facebook page where news updates on religious freedom are posted and a topic page that outlines basic religious freedoms and how they can be protected.

Many Church leaders have said they feel religious liberties are eroding. This campaign, launched more than a year and a half ago, encourages people around the country to actively participate in the fight for religious liberty.

“Be an active participant, not a silent observer,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve, in the video.

Church leaders encourage citizens everywhere to actively participate in the protection of religious freedom by posting material on the internet as well as to stand for religious liberty in their everyday personal interactions and in the communities where they live.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of the responsibility every citizen has to protect religious rights.

“In the 21st century, we cannot flee any longer,” he said in the video. “We are going to have to fight for laws and circumstances and environments that allow the free exercise of religion.”

In the same video, Hannah Smith, a member of the senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said freedom of conscience is the right to not be forced to do something that violates the truth that God has spoken to one’s heart.

The new video features religious specialists from all different denominations and citizens from all different cultural and religious backgrounds who speak up about religion.

BYU is taking an active part in protecting religious liberty. The new interfaith lecture series on campus began this semester and features high-profile religious leaders from a variety of different religious denominations.

Leaders are asked to speak on their values and are meant to motivate students to be actively involved in protecting family, religion and liberty.

“It’s about what we have in common and what we can do to strengthen our society and our families,” said Brent Top, dean of religious education at BYU.

New resources on religious freedom can be found at www.mormonnewsroom.org

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