News Release

EU Office opened - Mormon Apostle honoured in Brussels

On March 18, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was honoured at a dinner to celebrate the recent opening of the European Union Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brussels. Among the attendees were religious leaders, representatives from the international NGO community and other distinguished guests. The dinner was hosted by Elder José A. Teixeira, President of the Europe Area of the Church.

Early in the day, Elder Christofferson met at the European Commission with Mrs Katharina von Schnurbein, Advisor to the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso for Churches, religious associations or communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organizations. During the meeting, Elder Christofferson recognized and praised the efforts of the European Union to seek the contribution and engagement of churches in the formulation of EU policy. He also reinforced the willingness of The Church of Jesus Christ to actively take part in this important work.

With its European headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, the Church is strongly committed to work closely with the European Union institutions on issues related to Faith, Family and Freedom of religion or belief, to promote and secure the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all people in Europe and internationally. The European Union Office of the Church in Brussels will seek opportunities to serve the European community through its political and institutional bodies, and by partnering with international NGOs, religious organizations and civil society.

“We respect the EU institutions and their guidelines regarding freedom of religion and are serious about the EU relationships.  We  want to contribute as best we can.  As a Church we understand what persecution means and therefore have an enhanced appreciation for the importance of religious freedom.” - said Elder D. Todd Christofferson, during his keynote speech at the dinner. Elder Teixeira added that "As an institution, the Church does not endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms, but we reserve the right to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that we believe have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church."

Francesco Di Lillo, the newly appointed Head of Office, looks forward for the opportunity to work with EU officials and other representatives from civil society on issues of common concern. He said: "The Church and its 15 million members throughout the world continuously seek opportunities to serve and to work with the community. One of our articles of faith reads, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." My office will seek opportunities to promote such things, and we will strive to do so by partnering with those who share common values and concerns."

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