More Than 700 Attend Religious Freedom Forum in Colorado

  • 20 February 2015

Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs; Jennifer Kraska, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference; and President Kevin Woodward of the Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake attend a VIP reception prior to the Religious Freedom Forum held January 23.  Photo by Peggy Kinnaird.

Article Highlights

  • More than 700 people attended the Religious Freedom Forum hosted by the local LDS stake and Catholic diocese in Colorado Springs.

“Religious freedoms are vital because they help sustain our peaceful coexistence. They merit careful protection.” —President Kevin Woodward of the Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

More than 700 local residents gathered for a Religious Freedom Forum held at a Latter-day Saint chapel in Colorado Springs on January 23. The forum was cosponsored by the Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake and the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs.

Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs opened the forum with his remarks. Bishop Sheridan said that religious freedom is not just for people of faith but applies to everyone and that arguments for it are driven from both reason and from revelation.

Bishop Sheridan also expressed concern that charitable services are being forced to cooperate with the state. “Christians can pray as long as they do it behind closed doors.”

President Kevin Woodward of the Colorado Springs North Stake greets Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs during the VIP reception prior to the Religious Freedom Forum held on January 23. Photo by Peggy Kinnaird.

Representatives from both political and religious organizations, including four Colorado stake presidencies, gathered in a VIP reception before the Religious Freedom Forum held January 23. Photo by Peggy Kinnaird.

Jennifer Kraska, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, was the keynote speaker. She highlighted current issues and answered questions regarding what legislators will be voting on in Colorado.

She encouraged members of both faiths to voice their opinions to their leaders. “The LDS and Catholic faiths are no strangers to persecution,” she said. “If we don’t stand up, someone else’s voice will be louder and heard.”

President Kevin Woodward of the Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake also addressed the audience. “Religious freedoms are vital because they help sustain our peaceful coexistence,” he said. “They merit careful protection.”

Representatives who attended the event included school board members, county commissioners, and state officials. John Suthers, former attorney general of Colorado, said, “I appreciate that this is a call to action for the rank and file to get involved.”