Human Rights Day is observed annually on Dec. 10 — the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This global document proclaims the inalienable rights all human beings are entitled to, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. According to UN.org, the declaration is available in more than 500 languages and is the most translated document in the world.
In honor of Human Rights Day, the Europe Area presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Elder Massimo De Feo, Elder Erich W. Kopischke and Elder Rubén V. Alliaud, all General Authority Seventies — issued a statement on Friday, Dec. 10.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms its fundamental belief in the importance of protecting human rights for all,” they wrote. “We agree that ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ We support advocating for the life of every individual and view a person’s freedom and agency a shared global priority.”
Human rights have been crucial throughout 2021 in protecting the weak, providing equality to the disadvantaged and countering abuses around the world, the area presidency continued. “We consider every person to be a child of God, and acknowledging these fundamental rights for every human means recognizing the worth and human dignity of every person.”
The leaders noted that freedom of religion or belief plays an important role in the 2021 Human Rights Day theme of “reducing inequalities, advancing human rights” — what the presidency deemed as “a call to action.”
Quoting President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, they added: “Teachings based on faith in God — however defined — have always contributed to moral actions that benefit the entire nation. This will continue to be so as religious people love and serve their neighbors as an expression of their love of God.”
“In this spirit,” the area presidency concluded, “we reaffirm our determination to work with governments, religious communities, and other persons of good will to promote and protect these rights in every corner of the world.”
Below is a video on human rights produced in 2014 that was included with the area presidency’s statement. Read the entire statement on the Church’s United Kingdom Newsroom.