An apostle at Parliament

An apostle at Parliament

UDHR Commemoration Report
Elder Cook at Parliament with APPG FoRB and The FoRB Foundation

On 6th December, the FoRB Foundation hosted a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Hosted at the Sanctuary, a historic church in central London currently used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of London, the meeting brought together members of various faiths to learn about the mission of the FoRB foundation and about the importance of Freedom of Religion or Belief advocacy and philanthropy.

Attendees heard from distinguished speakers who discussed various aspects of FoRB advocacy. Elder Quentin L. Cook, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke on the importance of faith in the effort to promote human rights. He addressed the need for cooperation and love between religious and belief groups, drawing on experiences from his career and time spent in the United Kingdom.

His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, spoke on similar themes, emphasising the universality of FoRB efforts while drawing on the history of the oft-persecuted Coptic community. In his call for unity, he and Elder Cook echoed the belief that we are all children of God with divine duties to care for all of His children.

Matthew Jones, co-founder and CEO of the FoRB Foundation, spoke on the importance of action. He repeated a powerful phrase: “If you don’t do anything in 48 hours, then you won’t do anything.” His stirring call to action accompanied commentary on the state of FoRB advocacy today.

Deb Barry, Trustee of The FoRB Foundation and worker at Humanitarian Consulting discussed practical methods of FoRB advocacy and humanitarian efforts in the wake of FoRB violations. Her theme centred on the need to identify hidden needs in communities by asking victims of violations themselves what they need. She shared many inspiring stories from her long career in humanitarian aid.

After the event, the attendees had the opportunity to mingle and connect with committed FoRB advocates from across the world. In commemorating the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, the FoRB foundation recognises the need for continued efforts to promote and protect FoRB across the world.

By Brendan Murphy