J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Fortaleza Brazil Hosts First Religious Symposium

The First Religious Freedom Symposium of Ceara State, held at City Hall of Fortaleza on 25 September, 2015, was organized by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Brazil Northeast Chapter and BAR Association of Ceara, with the support of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The attendance was extraordinary for a first-time event, with more than 300 guests, including lawyers, law students, and religious leaders.
This pioneering symposium was planned by Dr. Robson Sabino, the State Coordinator for the Study of Religious Freedom of the BAR Association and the JRCLS Brazil Northeast Chapter Member’s Director. Dr. Sabino was assisted by 32 JRCLS members residing in Fortaleza city. This historic event will be of fundamental importance toward the official creation of the Law and Religious Freedom Committee in Ceara. A brief explanation of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and its mission was distributed to all attendees.
The event brought speakers from legal and religious backgrounds, among whom were the Ceara BAR Association President, Valdetario Monteiro; the State Coordinator of Studies of Religious Freedom, Robson Sabino; the BAR Law School Director, Vanilo de Carvalho; the Coordinator of the Religious Diversity Committee of the Human Rights Secretary, Alexandre Brasil; the JRCLS South America Area Director, Aroldo Cavalcante; the JRCLS Brazil Sao Paulo Chapter Chair, Fabio Nascimento; the Chairman of the Religious Education Guidance of Ceara State, Pastor Munguba Jr.; and LDS Area Seventy, Elder David Fernandes.

“We are here to defend the right of everyone to freedom of belief and we encourage all associated with the J. Reuben Clark Law Society to support this worthy cause,” advocated Dr. Aroldo Cavalcante, who is also the Recife Brazil Boa Viagem Stakes President. Dr. Robson Sabino, founder of the Forum, said in his lecture that “religion brings hope to people, so we must protect it.” Dr. Fabio Nascimento, who is one of the greatest defenders of religious freedom in our country, said that “[the] Law and Religious Freedom Committee should give priority to defend the right of everyone to believe or not in God.”                                                                                                    
In the last panel of the event, several religious leaders talked about ways to reduce religious intolerance. Closing the Symposium, Elder Fernandes cited the 11th Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
Dr. Valdetario Monteiro, the BAR Association President, praised the event—especially for the large number of participants who filled the auditorium of City Hall—saying that “religious freedom is freedom of thought,” which is a universal human right that deserves special attention for the society. He added that, “after this great event, the State of Ceara should have a specific BAR Committee for it” and promised “that he would fight with dedication for its organization.”
By Aroldo Cavalcante, South America Area Director

Posted: November 16, 2015