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Faith freely chosen is the hallmark of a strong and stable society, Mormon apostle Elder Neil L. Andersen said during a panel discussion at a major global gathering of business, government and thought leaders.
For its global meetings, Horasis, an independent think tank based in Zurich, Switzerland, brings together a community of some 400 world leaders from 70 countries to pursue solutions to the most critical challenges facing corporations and societies.
This year, for the first time, Horasis hosted a session with religious leaders to discuss how societies can develop trust, faith and togetherness to enable progress to absorb economic, political and spiritual surprises originating locally or globally.
“We believe in togetherness,” Horasis chairman Dr. Frank-Jürgen Richter said. “It’s a major theme of the summit, so we’d like to involve all stakeholders—business, government, civil society, and religious leaders.”
Elder Andersen joined Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of Vatican City’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Canon Sarah Snyder, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser for Reconciliation and a theologian who specializes in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.
“It is an honor to sit on a platform alongside leaders of other faith traditions,” Snyder said. “I’ve spent the whole of my life working not in a silo but actually with people outside [my] church, with different denominations within the church, and with people who have no faith at all. One of the things I’m most passionate about is that we learn to turn from being back to back to face to face, but then to go out shoulder to shoulder.”
Echoing Snyder’s comments, Elder Andersen noted that “trust and togetherness are fostered tremendously by all the religions represented here, and many others across every continent.”
Elder Andersen stressed that people of faith must set aside inevitable differences and join others in common causes for good. “These are people who are around the world, doing good, trying to help the poor and refugees, trying to be a force for peace, and we want to participate in these sorts of things with them,” Elder Andersen said of those with him on the stage. “We want more and more to speak to others outside our own congregations. [The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is] to be a testimony of Christ to all the world.”