News Story

Canadian Delegate Presents at International Symposium on Religious Freedom

Brigham Young University recently welcomed the distinguished Reverend Dr. James Christie as the Canadian delegate at the 21st annual International Law and Religion Symposium.

Held 5–6 October 2014 at the J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah, the symposium was attended by more than 80 delegates from 40 countries and addressed the theme “Varieties of Secularism, Religion and the Law.”

The symposium opened with remarks from the dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, James R. Rasband, and president of Brigham Young University, Kevin J. Worthen, former dean of the law school.

Dr. Christie presented on a panel of three that focused on “Religious Responses to Secularisms.” He was joined on the panel by the Most Reverend Peter Comensoli, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, and Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar, chairperson of the education department of Jamiyah, Singapore.

Dr. Christie is a lifelong ecumenist and a pioneer in dialogue theology. He is a professor of whole world ecumenism and dialogue theology and the former dean of the faculty of theology of the University of Winnipeg.

In July 2010 he was appointed director of the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy in the Global College of the University of Winnipeg. He is a leader in the NGO movement for global democracy, UN reform and human rights, chairing the council of the World Federalist Movement–Institute for Global Policy. He was a 2002 Nobel Peace Prize nominee for leadership in the International Criminal Court Treaty.

The International Law and Religion Symposium at BYU has hosted more than 1,000 delegates from over 120 countries. This year’s delegates included scholars, government officials, journalists and religious and civic leaders. From this prestigious group of participants, Dr. Christie was one of only three invited to be interviewed on the BYU radio program Thinking Aloud

The keynote address was given by United States Sen. Orrin Hatch, who also was presented with the center’s Distinguished Service Award by professor W. Cole Durham Jr., director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

Because of their teachings and history, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a special commitment to religious freedom. For nearly 200 years Mormon leaders have taught the importance of religious freedom for everyone, as stated in the Church’s Articles of Faith: “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.” 

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.