Religious freedom conference focuses on First Amendment rights

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The BYU International Center for Law and Religious Studies is hosting a conference on religious freedom. (Maddi Driggs)
The BYU International Center for Law and Religious Studies is hosting a conference on religious freedom. (Maddi Driggs)

Law and religious freedom experts hope to provide people with a deeper understanding of their First Amendment rights at this year’s Religious Freedom Annual Review on BYU campus Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8.

Keynote speakers for the event include emeritus General Authority Seventy Elder Lance B. Wickman and UVU president Matthew S. Holland.

“The conference is designed to provide access to scholarship and expert commentary on recent developments on religious freedom,” BYU Law School Associate Director Elizabeth Clark said in an email. “We have an excellent lineup of speakers who will address questions of religion and the upcoming elections, Supreme Court’s impact on religious freedom issues, interfaith cooperation on religious freedom issues and what religious freedom means in society,”

Religious freedom has become a pertinent topic for many in the LDS community. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve focused on the issue during his address at the Freedom Festival Patriotic Service in late June.

“Religious freedom is indeed under attack,” Elder Christofferson said. “I am convinced that those who question the value or even the legitimacy of religious freedom do not understand that it is woven into the very soul of America.”

Similarly, Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke on the topic at University of Oxford during a recent trip to England.

“None of us can ignore the importance of religion globally — in politics, conflict resolution, economic development, humanitarian relief, and more,” Elder Oaks said.

Those who want to attend the annual event can register at religiousfreedom.byu.edu/registration.

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