News Story

Mormon delegation at UNESCO-sponsored conference in Macedonia

Four delegates of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in a worldwide conference of government officials, religious representatives, and scholars held on May 10-12, 2013, in Skobje, Macedonia. The gathering devoted to dialogue among religions and civilizations was the third of its kind sponsored by the government of the Republic of Macedonia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“We are all the children of God. We are all brothers and sisters,” said Manfred Schütze during his conference address. The head of the four-member Mormon delegation encouraged all participants to “strengthen those bonds that we do have in common.” Schütze was accompanied by Macedonian public affairs coordinator Klementina Vasileva, European legal counsel David Colton and European associate public affairs director Dr. Ralf Grünke.

The conference focused on three topics: pluralistic societies and religious tolerance, living together by respecting the diversities, and contribution of the media to the inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. In her speech, Vasileva pointed out that freedom of worship is a principle included in the Church’s basic statements of doctrine called the articles of faith. “We must be advocates of peaceful dialogue, the honoring and creation of legal platforms for freedom of religion for all and speaking out when others freedom of worship is at risk,” Colton told the audience. Dr. Grünke emphasized that news reporting about religion should be fair, accurate, and thorough.

The world conference on dialogue among religions and civilization takes place every three years. Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also actively participated in 2007 and 2010.


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.