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Mormons Welcome Labour’s Interfaith Dialogue


9 October 2011

Mormons Welcome Labour’s Interfaith Dialogue

AUCKLAND, NZ – Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) have responded favourably to the announcement of Labour’s new portfolio of Interfaith Dialogue.

“We welcome this initiative,” said local church leader, Elder Michael Roberts. “New Zealand is a diverse country with people of varied faiths and backgrounds. For some time, the Church has sought to establish links with other faiths as a means of creating an inclusive dialogue. People of various faiths working together can bring about great things in a community.”

Of the initiative, Labour MP and Interfaith Dialogue Spokesperson William Sio said, “Labour’s decision to create the portfolio recognizes the significant role faith plays in the lives of many New Zealanders.” Speaking of the various faith communities, Mr. Sio, who is also a Mormon, goes on to say, “These communities have a positive role to play in our society. The Temples, Mosques, Chapels, and places of worship for many faiths have become the focal point for a range of religious, educational and community events.”

For some years, the Church has been involved with the setting up of Interfaith Councils in various centres across New Zealand. Elder Roberts, who chaired the Auckland Interfaith Council for a number of years, said “These Interfaith councils are opportunities for groups with varying backgrounds to meet together concerning common goals. They also provide an opportunity for us to learn about each other and establish an understanding based on mutual respect. We are glad that our political leaders see this as an area worthy of attention.”

At a meeting last night, Phil Goff spoke to hundreds of young Latter-Day Saints aged 16 to 29. He spoke of his Christian upbringing and how it shaped his desire to enter the political sphere.

“While the Church is not political, nor do we endorse any political party, we do encourage our members to be a part of the process, to be involved and engaged with their community,” says Elder Roberts. Last month, the Church also hosted Prime Minister John Key who spoke of his upbringing, and encouraged the youth to continue seeking their education.

Elder Roberts continues, “Being part of the community is part of our Christian duty. We should be striving to make this country a better place, not just for those who share our views, but also for all New Zealanders. This Interfaith dialogue will help us achieve this.”


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