February 27, 2017: The Thomas L. Kane Religious Freedom Award given by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society of Brigham Young University went to an Adventist this year.
Dr. Ganoune Diop, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, was presented the award by Elder Lance B. Wickman, general counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A February 24 report by Mormon Newsroom, an official news source of the denomination, said the award had been presented recently.
The event took place in Philadelphia and Diop was recognized as a friend to the Church of Jesus Christ like attorney, abolitionist and military officer Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883) was a friend to the church during mass member migration to Utah and in the establishment of Utah as a state.
The award is given annually to a person who lives by the principles of Kane in championing religious freedom.
Diop said that he was grateful to accept the award that had been named after a person who had stood up for the religious freedom of people not of his faith.
He also mentioned having appreciated the friendship of the late Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the church’s governing bodies. He called him a man of God.
Diop publicly committed to standing for religious liberty as had Kane and challenged others to do the same.
The department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) of the Adventist Church has advocated for religious freedom for all people for more than 100 years.