The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles used messages delivered Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Parliament and one of London’s historic city churches to extol the benefits of human rights and freedom of religion as well as call for continued efforts worldwide.

“I believe the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of extending respect, toleration and legal protection for religious freedom to people of all faiths — not just Christians. You are a powerful example …,” said Elder Cook. “We should never give up on advocating for and declaring the human rights that we are celebrating here in the U.K. Parliament today.”

Religious freedom and accountability to God benefit individuals and countries, he added. “Accountability to God for our relationships with each other is a powerful force for good and strongly supports democracy. Those who feel accountable to God also feel a responsibility to improve the lives of the less fortunate and to follow the laws of the land.”

While many challenges still exist and need to be addressed, Elder Cook said, “the principal components and the essential foundations which commenced in the British Isles are still central today.”

Accompanied by his wife, Sister Mary Cook, Elder Cook provided the keynote address in a morning session in the Portcullis House of the Palace of Westminster. Also offering remarks were U.K. Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief Fiona Bruce, a member of Parliament; Parliament member Brendan O’Hara, a leader of various All Party Parliamentary Groups, including that of International Freedom of Religion or Belief; professor Stephanie Barclay, director of Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative; and professor Brett Scharffs, director of the Brigham Young University Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

In addition, Elder Cook spoke at an afternoon anniversary event sponsored by the FoRB Foundation, a U.K.-registered “Freedom of Religion or Belief” charity.

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