News Release

Latter-day Saints Support Launch of New Zealand 'Religious Diversity Centre'

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended the launch of the Religious Diversity Centre at New Zealand's Parliament House yesterday.

Tania Torea, Jennifer Beck and Richard Hunter joined representatives of dozens of other faith traditions at the event.

Mrs Torea is the Latter-day Saint director of public affairs for the lower half of New Zealand’s North Island, and South Island. Mrs Beck is vice-president of the South Island Interfaith Society, and the Church’s Christchurch director of public affairs. Mr Hunter is the Church’s director of public affairs for the Pacific Area.

“This centre has the potential to benefit all New Zealanders, not just those who profess a particular faith,” Mr Hunter said.

“For one, it promises to conduct research into the country’s faith landscape generally, as well as into individual faith groups. More data—I expect—will lead to more understanding, more tolerance and more respect.

“Secondly, the Centre will provide opportunities for people of faith and others to come together to talk, listen, learn and build friendships. As New Zealand becomes more multi-cultural and multi-faith—increased unity across cultural, ethnic and faith lines will be good for everyone.

“And thirdly,” he added, “the collective presence and voice of those who participate in the Centre’s initiatives and gatherings may act as a reminder to policymakers and news media that faith has a place in today’s society. In an increasingly troubled world, there is a great need for people of faith to not only learn how to talk with each other, but also to work with each other to tackle society’s toughest problems.”

Read more about the launch of the new Religious Diversity Centre in The New Zealand Herald.

Mormon Newsroom states: "A respect for the diverse beliefs and unique contributions of all the world’s faiths is one of the hallmarks of Mormonism.

"From the earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith elevated the principle of religious liberty and tolerance: 'We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may' (Articles of Faith 1:11)."

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