Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed an audience at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, England this week. In his speech, entitled “Investing in our Future with Faith,” he called on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, and faith groups to refocus their efforts when responding to refugees and internally displaced people.
Elder Holland was invited to attend the meeting at Chatham House by Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, Chair of AMAR International Charitable Foundation. The foundation and LDS Charities work closely together on global humanitarian outreach.
During his address, Elder Holland spoke about the Yazidi refugee experience in Iraq and around the Middle East. “Beginning in 2014, the Islamic State (IS) began to persecute the Yazidis because IS considered them to be pagans and devil worshippers,” explained Elder Holland. He continued, “Presently, many Yazidi survivors are located away from their home villages in camps for internally displaced persons or are living as refugees in other countries.”
At the conclusion of his time, Elder Holland noted that since The Church was once persecuted for their beliefs, “we are determined to do all we can to assist others who face the same circumstances.”