Scientology: How We Help—Africa Human Rights Youth Summit

The Church of Scientology of Johannesburg co-organized the Africa Human Rights Youth Summit 2013 and welcomed the 10th annual Youth for Human Rights International World Educational Tour to South Africa.

The 10th annual Youth for Human Rights International World Educational Tour arrived in South Africa March 15 to hold the Africa Youth Summit 2013 and commemorate South Africa Human Rights Day. This was the final stage of the tour—a journey that has traveled through eight nations, spanning 73,000 km (45,360 miles).

In the rest of the world, Human Rights Day is December 10, but in South Africa it is also commemorated on March 21—the day the Sharpville Massacre ignited a firestorm of international outrage that eventually toppled South Africa’s apartheid regime.

For Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, President of Youth for Human Rights International, this leg of the World Tour was a homecoming. She was raised in apartheid South Africa and the cruelty and injustice of that system left an indelible impression, inspiring her to become an educator and to found Youth for Human Rights International. The purpose of the group is to inspire youth to become advocates for tolerance and peace through education in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

At the opening of the Youth Summit March 15, his Royal Highness King Molefe II, Traditional King of the Batlokwa Nation, welcomed delegates from South Africa, Botswana, Congo, Nigeria and America. A stirring rendition of the national anthem "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika"—Xhosa for “God Bless Africa,” launched the summit, followed by a performance by the East Rand School of the Arts.

For the days, youth delegates networked with other young human rights advocates and participated in seminars and workshops where they learned skills to help them further human rights awareness campaigns in their areas.

Honored guests included representatives of the Diepsloot Community Safety Group, the National Department of Education, the South African Police Service, the Gauteng Provincial Crime Prevention Department, the South African Youth Council, the South Africa Provincial Youth Desk and other community and religious leaders and NGOs.

The final day of the summit, March 17, was the Inter-Religious Conference for Peace, hosted by the Church of Scientology of Johannesburg. Religious leaders participating included Prophet Nwaobasi, Bishop Ogbu and Ms. Ohre of Impact Africa Network; Minister Oyebanjo of the Celestial Church of Christ of Nigeria and members of the Religious Forum of Ekurhuleni Mayor Gungubele—Mu Allima Fakude, Rev. Mbatha and Evangelist Verster. Their message: The need for religions to work together to achieve human rights and peace.

The Africa Youth Summit is an outgrowth of the annual International Human Rights Summit, cosponsored each year by Youth for Human Rights International and the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International. Regional summits such as this make it possible for youth who cannot travel to Geneva, New York and Brussels, where the International Summits are usually held, to benefit from meeting other youth activists and participate with them in workshops and seminars.

Scientologists on five continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s premier human rights document.

The Church of Scientology published Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Global Reality to meet requests for more information about the human rights education and awareness initiative the Church supports. To learn more, visit

Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,” and the Scientology religion is based on the principles of human rights. The Code of a Scientologist calls on all members of the religion to dedicate themselves “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.”