Public Affairs at the African Religious Liberty Congress and Festival

Rwanda, the beautiful country of a thousand hills was the location for a three-day Religious Liberty event, beginning September 13-15, 2018.

News Release

Rwanda, the beautiful country of a thousand hills was the location for a three-day Religious Liberty event, beginning September 13-15, 2018. The stunning Kigali Convention Centre was the venue for a public forum of 500 participants of religious leaders, government officials, African scholars, human rights organizations and NGOs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was represented by speaker, Elder Joseph Sitati, General Authority Seventy, representing the area presidency Africa South East Area.

Dr. Joel Okindoh, organizing secretary from the Seventh Day Adventist Church presented the scope and meaning of the gathering with the following statement—It will examine whether God did right to create intelligent human beings with free conscious to make right or wrong choices and determine how we should relate with this primordial human right at various levels of society in Africa for peaceful co-existence.

The theme of the congress—Religious Freedom for All, with the purpose that this forum would generate similar forums at all levels of society across the continent form many years to come as Dr. Ganoune Diop, from Senegal, expressed the wish for the peace of God--freedom, justice and peace. H.E. Sheik Ramadhan Mubajje, deputy of Muslims of Uganda gave the Islamic understanding—belief in God is a choice between following man or God’s way. Professor PLO Lumumba spoke of Diversity is a Celebration of God and Africans are unique—a Christian and Muslim tradition.

 

Elder Sitati spoke of religion being a powerful influence both individually and collectively, as the Church is a soft religion of the heart but fulfills the deepest need—freedom of the soul. Religious Freedom is not absolute—"If it doesn’t work for everyone, it doesn’t work for anyone”, and we must respect our differences.  Many others echoed the theme.

Those attending the public forum from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were, Ellis Mnyandu, Area Public Affairs Director, Joseph Poche, Assistant Area Director Public Affairs, Evelyn Jepkemei, Coordinating Council Public Affairs Director, Kenya and Tanzania, Mouzoun Damien, Rwanda District Public Affairs Director, and Missionary Couple, Public Affairs, Elder and Sister Lillywhite.

The Religious Liberty Festival held at the Amahoro stadium included activities such as religious liberty parade with brass band and Music Concert and speeches and thanksgiving prayers.

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