News Release

Elder Dube Addresses International Conference on Religious Freedom in Home Country

“Your actions will create pathways to positive change.”

Elder Edward Dube, Area President in the Africa South region of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed the opening session of the 11th annual conference of the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) in Zimbabwe on Sunday, 19 May 2024.

The conference, which brought together 162 leaders from 21 countries, was held in the town of Victoria Falls, home to the majestic Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

“What a great privilege for me to represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," said Elder Dube. “As we gather for the 11th conference on the theme of Law, Religion and Leadership in Africa, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, my home sweet home, I thank you for being part of this united force, which will bring the desired change in Africa. I am filled with faith, hope and anticipation that your actions will create pathways to positive change."

He encouraged participants to focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

"Those who grasp this truth will shape the world,” he said. “It’s your shared aspirations that will indeed bring the change that you yearn for in this world.”

Vice Chancellor Rungano Zvogbo from the Great Zimbabwe University welcomed guests to Zimbabwe and continued the theme of shaping the future.

Chief Mvutu, Bishop Mtata Sibanda, traditional leader for Victoria Falls, said, “May the mighty waters of the Zambezi River inspire us to flow together in harmony and unity.”

Sheik Reuben Makwinja, Islamic Council of Zimbabwe, echoed, "We can change the future by changing human actions and character.”

In conclusion, Elder Dube stressed the critical need for leadership.

"In the end, everything rises and falls on leadership,” he said. “The mantle of leadership is not a cloak of comfort, but a robe of responsibility," he added, quoting Thomas S. Monson, former president of the Church.

The event, led by the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS) in partnership with Great Zimbabwe University, brings together leaders from government, religion, law and academia to discuss religious freedom and human rights in the context of leadership and human dignity.

ACLARS is sponsored in part by the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, which is affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2025, the event is scheduled to take place in Morocco.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.