The Human Rights Team was established by World Conference action in 1984 to continue a careful but sustained exploration of how the church can respond to human rights issues around the world from our peace and justice perspective. The team informs church members about critical issues of injustice; offers information and/or training materials to help congregations partner with other human rights organizations and movements specifically working to secure human rights; and focuses on listening for and giving voice to the voiceless.
The Human Rights Team provides useful information and focus on significant human rights issues facing the church and our world. Community of Christ is called to be “in the forefront of those organizations and movements which are recognizing the worth of persons and are committed to bringing the ministry of [Jesus Christ] to bear on their lives" (Doctrine and Covenants 151:9). We have been admonished to “open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a).
Team Priorities 2019-2023
The Human Rights Team suggests in this report ways Community of Christ can respond as a faith community to the human-rights crisis in the world. In 2018, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70. The Human Rights Team invites all Community of Christ members to renew their commitment to confront human-rights violations everywhere. More education in human-rights advocacy is needed. The creation of local human-rights groups is believed to be a way forward for members to act.
The team proposes Community of Christ focus its attention to the rights of children, women, indigenous peoples, migrants, and LGBT persons without limiting the advocacy of church members to the rights of these groups. Finally, a yearly strategic report would be provided to the First Presidency and published on the church’s website regarding Community of Christ’s work in relation to the rights of these groups.
Matt Frizzell, co-chair
John Glaser, co-chair
Scott Murphy, liaison with the First Presidency
Apostle Art Smith