J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Law Society Honored by the City of Fortaleza, Brazil

To commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Law Society, the Fortaleza City Council held a Solemn Session on August 12, 2019, chaired by Council Member Benigno Júnior and attended by several civic leaders including Fortaleza’s Vice Mayor, Moroni Big Torgan. Chapter Chair Robson Sabino was instrumental in orchestrating this honor and in furthering the cause of the Law Society brazil1in Brazil. Júnior emphasized that the city council receives and supports each member of the Law Society, now honored. He stated, “Today we are here in the presence of [Fortaleza Chapter Chair] Robson Sabino, who has been excellent in defending religious freedom against intolerance. We need to respect individual freedoms and the freedom to profess a religion. Working for a more tolerant world is undoubtedly a path to peace between people. Small acts renew our struggle.” He concluded that the Law Society was making excellent strides toward that goal.
Torgan spoke about how the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the persecution it suffered gave a basis for the Law Society’s understanding of religious persecution. He praised the Law Society for being service-oriented and striving to combat religious persecution: “Far greater than having financial return is the return of solidarity, of charity.”   

The President of the Bar Association’s Religious Freedom Commission of Piauí (OAB/PI), Candido Alexandrino also made a brief statement. “Today we celebrate a very relevant entity that exists on all continents, with special people as members. They did and do a lot for religious freedom,” Alexandrino said. “We are a religious country. In the last census, 90% of Brazilians said they believed in God. That is why this important entity, in doing this warm, loving, and caring work, deserves the applause of all who preach freedom of rights and equality.”
Lastly, the Vice President of the Bar Association’s Religious Freedom Commission of Ceará (OAB/CE), Ivan Moura, spoke about the purpose of his commission, which is to safeguard the fundamental right to religious worship. The Solemn Session concluded with tributes to the following Law Society members for their work towards this purpose: Nefisson Rabelo Pinheiro, Ivan Leônio Simões Almeida, Walter Ferreira Sintra, Antonio Franco Almada Azevedo, Luciana Melo Bruno Maia, Beethoven Rodrigues de Oliveira, João Ricardo Guimarães Junior, Alan Kleiton Cardoso Feitosa, Francisco de Assis Sousa dos Reis, Elienay Gomes Alves, Rogéria Costa de Sousa, and Cristiane de Vale Leitão.

Antonio Franco Almada Azevedo accepted the tribute on behalf of the honorees, “This worldwide law society has been working for freedom. The lawyer is sometimes seen as the opponent to an easy solution, but in democracy there is no easy solution. The brazil2lawyer brings the counterpoint and is sometimes seen as an opponent. Therefore, sometimes we are not popular, but lawyers have been saving this country. Quoting Sobral Pinto, ‘Law is not a cowardly profession.’ Perhaps it is time we all understand that our mission is to impact lives. We want every member of the community to feel defended by having access to a lawyer.”
Two days later, the University of Fortaleza hosted the fifth Regional Conference of the Law Society in Brazil. The first lecture was by two legal advisors from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stephen Fluckiger and Charles Carlston, along with Law Society member Ricardo Cerqueira Leite, who spoke about Religious Freedom in Brazil and around the world. Three other lecture sessions followed on topics such as freedom in educational spaces and contemporary challenges to political parties.  
A tribute to the Law Society was offered by Congress Member Marcos Sobreira at the Legislative Assembly in commemoration of National Lawyer Day on August 11. In addition to honoring the Law Society as a whole, several lawyers were honored, including Iana Rangel Matias, Women in Law Chair, and Ricardo Cerqueira Leite.
brazil3As part of the conference, the President of the Bar Association’s Religious Freedom Commission of Paraná (OAB Paraná), Odacyr Carlos Prigol, spoke about religious freedom and respect in the local Bar Association’s Conference Center.  Fortaleza Chapter Chair and legal advisor to the Bar Association’s Advocate Support Center,  Robson Sabino, spoke about mediation as a path to resolve conflicts caused by religious intolerance. He also announced the release of his book, Conflict Resolution from the 21st Century Lawyer Perspective. He also celebrated launching a new Religious Freedom Primer, which is supported by more than 30 national religious freedom institutions. According to Sabino, the conference provided a comparison between Brazilian and American law.

brazil4In addition to the speakers, several authorities from the executive, legislative and judiciary branches attended the event, including, Judge Sérgio Parente of the Ceará Court; Council Member Benigno Júnior; the Attorney General of Ceará’s National Institute of Social Security; Eduilton Barros, President of the State Commission of Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration; Professor Doctor Suzianne Pessôa; and Evangelical Pastor Glauco Barreira Magalhães Filho. The Religious Freedom Commission honored Law Society members Odacyr Carlos Prigol, Aroldo Barreto Cavalcante, and Sebastião Lino Ramos de Vasconcelos Cintra.  
brazil5The following day, members of the Law Society in partnership with Fortaleza City Hall and the Bar Association’s Religious Freedom Commission (CLR OAB/CE), provided legal counseling as part of a pro bono service project in the poor neighborhoods of Jangurussu, Passaré, Vicente Pinzón, and Pedras.
brazil6The closing session of the conference, held at the Fortaleza Dunas Stake Center, had the theme, “Religious Freedom and Entrepreneurship” and was attended by hundreds of people. Speakers included the First Counselor of the Fortaleza Dunas Stake who spoke about entrepreneurship; Jason Ward, Vice President of People and Customers for Azul Linhas Aereas, and the Dunas Stake President, Glauber Cintra. Among those present were the president and matron of the newly dedicated LDS temple, Paulo Renato and Zuleika Morais Grahl. In true Brazilian style, the conference ended with a dancing ball.

Posted: 2019-09-18