News Release

How Music Helps Refugees

Global leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ speak at the Windsor Dialogue Conference

The words of songs and the power of melody can help built resilience for the outcast and even assist emotional healing.

That was the message of faith leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who joined virtually in the seventh Windsor Dialogue Conference in London, July 8, 2022. In a meeting held at Westminster Abbey and hosted by the AMAR Foundation, Church leaders discussed how music can help sustain the faith of oppressed peoples and buoy their hearts.

“In every religion, certainly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, music is a powerful, powerful force,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities, described how in 2014 ISIS fighters and local collaborators attacked religious minorities in Northern Iraq, including the ancient Yazidi people who fled their ancestral lands. These displaced people “need the healing and the resilience of their music,” she said.

“Music is the song of God,” said Baroness Emma Nicholson, AMAR Foundation Chairman. “It’s the voice to heaven and back again.” In April, Baroness Nicholson visited Salt Lake City and sang with members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

Elder Holland reflected on the Tabernacle Choir’s heritage and early Choir members’ personal experiences of suffering. “Our Tabernacle Choir is known throughout the world,” he said. “That developed because of our dislocation in our Church’s history.”

“I hope we’ll continue this idea of ‘musical therapy’ and a musical contribution in our work with, not just the Yazidis, but any other outreach to any group in need,” Elder Holland said.

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