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Protecting religious freedom

Religious freedom experts gathered together on the campus of Brigham Young University for the 22nd annual conference of the LDS International Society. The theme was “The Erosion of Religious Liberties: Impact on the International Church.” As a matter of basic human dignity and social good, these experts defended religious freedom against gradually encroaching erosions.

Michael K. Young, president of the University of Utah and former chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, concentrated his remarks on the state of religious freedom in the United States, calling it a “bellwether” for the rest of the world. The extent of religious freedom erosion in the United States, he argued, significantly impacts the development of this issue in other countries. He warned about the subtle deterioration of religion’s once foundational place in society. An accumulation of “adverse” court decisions along with worsening social attitudes toward religion have produced gradual erosions that are “more worrying” than obvious, abrupt changes.

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