News Release

Mormons Join Multi-Religious Youth In Historical Event

Two young adults from the Kuala Lumpur District of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were invitees to Kem Muhibah 2015, a Goodwill Youth Camp organized by JKMPKA, the Committee to Promote Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents. JKMPKA is under the direction of The Malaysian Ministry of National Unity & Integration.

Seventy eight youth ages 16 - 30 were invited to participate in the 3rd annual event involving youth from Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist religious organizations. Having two "Mormon" youth be asked to join with the other religious groups marks a historic event for The Church.

During the opening ceremonies Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Samsudin, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Youth Movement recognized there were youth present from many faiths. He stated that Malaysia has many religious groups, different races and different cultures, "yet we all have one thing in common; we are all human beings. This meeting will be an opportunity for us to truly get to know one another. Through harmony and peace, we can take a step toward a better Malaysia".

Deedra Ramachandram and Friendrich Che were warmly welcomed to the Youth Camp by attendees with multi-cultural and multi-religious backgrounds. These two youth are leaders of the Young Single Adults in the Kuala Lumpur District of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the ice breaker events participants from every faith soon were laughing and enjoying each other's company. These young leaders found common ground in the fact that they are all faithful youth who are trying to be good citizens of their own faith and still be tolerant and accepting of the beliefs of others.

The President of the Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, Loh Pai Ling began her address in Chinese, switched to Malay, English, and even Tamil. She then said "The beauty of Malaysia is there are so many languages. As citizens we can communicate with many different people. We have come together as pioneers of tolerance, love, and peace. We must strive to allow everyone to enjoy harmony. You young people can make a change by sowing seeds of religious hope for National Unity".

The two day event was filled with many activities, dialogs, information sharing, cultural exchanges, food and fun. The final activity was held at The Palace of the Golden Horses on Sunday evening.  Attendees were joined by Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Minister of Unity and Integration. Together they enjoyed an Interfaith Orchestra playing music using traditional instruments such as ErHu, Harmonium, Rebana, and Dhool. The group then watched the drama production "Bridges and Walls", presented by Friendship Group for InterReligious Service (FGIS). "It was very meaningful, inspiring and memorable. The fact that it highlighted our problems was true, but it carries a strong message of unity and that is what we want to convey to all Malaysians", Minister Kurup said after watching the production.

Deedra, a Kuala Lumpur District Young Single Adult Representative reported, "I was a little worried at first, but after we did the ice breaking games and were formed into groups, I immediately knew I had made lifelong friends. I've learned much about each religion and I even had people ask me about our church. I made friends with a Muslim who told me I'm the first Christian friend he has ever had. That was a first for me! Because I attended this camp, my faith has definitely grown stronger and I am reminded that we are all children of God. Our differences can bring us together!"

The youth lifted their voices singing "One Big Family" as they left the two day event filled with hope and plans for people to live peacefully together regardless of religious difference. 

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