News Release

Mormon Leader Speaks at G20 Interfaith Summit 

The G20 Interfaith Summit, held in Germany earlier this month, brought together opinion makers, experts on law, economics, and politics from around the world, together with religious, faith, and philosophical leaders.

On Saturday, 17th June, Elder Gary B. Sabin, General Authority Seventy and member of the Europe Area presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), spoke at the G20 Interfaith Summit in Berlin, Germany. The Summit brought together opinion makers, experts on law, economics, and politics from around the world, together with religious, faith, and philosophical leaders. They discussed the role religious and faith communities have in contributing to the UN’s post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals that Germany has chosen to highlight during this year’s G20 Summit. Main topics of discussion included the environment, development, social challenges, the rise of extremism, and the refugee crisis.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to associate with people like you, gathered here, that are engaged in helping those in need,” Elder Sabin said in his opening remarks. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has some experience with refugees. We were refugees ourselves. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency, was a refugee in two occasions during World War II.” Quoting a First Presidency’s statement, he said “In our efforts to follow the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ, we feel a keen responsibility to extend help as well as hope to the hungry and to the homeless, both at home and abroad.”

The G20 Interfaith Summit has been applauded as an effective tool to promote the inclusion of faith and religion in addressing social challenges. Many believe that these communities can have tremendous impacts. At the Summit, Elder Sabin described the contributions that the Church and other religious communities have made to European societies in addressing the refugee crisis, and the positive role that they can continue to play within the public sphere.


Elder Sabin said “LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, worked on 2.630 projects with over 1.500 partners, in 2016 alone. Since 1985, the Church has provided $1.89 billion in assistance in 189 countries.” He then shared some details of the Church’s commitment worldwide and in Europe: “Over 2014 and 2016, the Church was involved with over 600 projects reaching over 2 million beneficiaries, donating more than $53.6 million in cash and material assistance, and thousands of volunteer hours. In Europe alone, we had completed more than 400 projects. These were carried out in partnership with local and international organisations, with the support of hundreds of our congregations.”

Projects included the provision of temporary camp housing, water sanitation, food, clothing, and other long-term support, including education, job training and resettlement assistance.

Elder Sabin concluded his talk by quoting from the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 2:17): “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

The Church has supported G20 Interfaith Summits in the past and works to promote the inclusion of religious and faith communities, as well as freedom of religion or belief around the world.

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