His Excellency Ivan Romero-Martinez, Honduran Ambassador to London and most prominent diplomat for the Latin American group of ambassadors in the United Kingdom, co-hosted a goodwill reception and luncheon on 21 April 2017 at the Brigham Young University (BYU) London Centre, in association with Public Affairs representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and representatives of the International Center for Law and Religions Studies (ICLRS) at Brigham Young University Law School (USA). The Latin American diplomatic group comprises 21 countries in Central and South America. Supporting the Honduras Ambassador at the event were ambassadors and senior diplomats from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.
Professor David M. Kirkham, Academic Director of London Centre and ICLRS Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy spoke to the group concerning Brigham Young University and education in the LDS Church. Professor W. Cole Durham Jr., ICLRS Founding Director and Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law at BYU, presented remarks on the critical need for protection of religious freedom. Professor Durham referred to the priority for nations to work together as countries and with religious groups to defend freedom of religion and freedom of worship – to strengthen churches and families.
In addition, Claudio Duran, from the Anglo Chilean Society, spoke about his experience as a member of the LDS Church and his interactions as a member of the Latin American community.
Elder Stanley B Parrish from LDS Public Affairs provided an overview of humanitarian aid projects within Latin America and the principle of self-reliance. He emphasized that the Church helps people regardless of religion or ethnicity – this is done through volunteer contributions, working through local organisations.
The ambassador hosting activity is part of the diplomatic outreach programme organized by Elder Stanley B. Parrish and Sister Joyce D. Parrish, LDS Europe Area Public Affairs London-based representatives.