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Human Rights Team

Human Rights Team

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.

Mission Alignment

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 for 2016–2019

WCR 1309 Supporting Indigenous Peoples (adopted June 2016) The team, in partnership with indigenous and minority persons, is to: 

  • Develop a working group to focus on global justice issues for indigenous peoples and to share with the church on how members can support issues of justice for indigenous peoples around the world 
  • Collaborate with the Ecumenical and Interfaith Team on ways the church can uphold the principles of WCR 1309 with other religious organizations
  • Explore educational opportunities for members on the principles of WCR 1309 and how members can participate in advocacy opportunities with indigenous peoples
  • Develop a statement to share with the church that renounces the Doctrine of Discovery
  • Identify culturally appropriate ways Community of Christ members can become advocates for the voiceless and oppressed by bringing about reconciliation between dominant and minority cultures. 

Follow-up on Human Trafficking project (continuation from 2013-2016)

  • Keep the issues related to human trafficking before church members
  • Remind members of ways they can identify and be advocates against human trafficking

International Immigration Issues

  • Work with the First Presidency on immigration issues in the countries where the worldwide church is active

Nominations for International Human Rights Award

  • Seek suggested nominees from World Church field ministers and church leaders
  • Review and make recommendations to First Presidency for awardees (2)

Team Members

John Glaser, team co-leader
Elray Henriksen, team co-leader
Ellisen Beggs
Carol Caplinger
Dave Hall
Elray Henriksen
Rosita Hoffman
Janice Lotz
John Nichols
John Pearson
Craig Perryman
Hemdah Salonimer-Horner
Karolyn Sharp
Karli Smith
Malcolm Stephenson
Catherine Striley
Heather Thompson
Dan Whittemore