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Mormon leader Russell M. Nelson to speak at NAACP convention

Russell M. Nelson - Religious leader and former surgeon who is the 17th and current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Photo Date: May 19, 2019 Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Russell M. Nelson - Religious leader and former surgeon who is the 17th and current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Photo Date: May 19, 2019 Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(KOLO)
Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 6:10 PM PDT
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' top leader has been invited to speak at the NAACP convention in Detroit, marking the latest sign of a burgeoning partnership between the two organizations.

The Utah-based faith said in a news release Wednesday that president Russell M. Nelson will speak Sunday. A lower-level church leader spoke at the NAACP convention last year.

The two organizations had their official meeting between national leaders in May 2018, calling afterward for greater racial harmony.

The religion barred blacks from the lay priesthood until 1978. That ban was rooted in the belief that black skin was a curse, and lingers as one of the most sensitive topics in the religion's history.

Scholars estimate that black people make up about 3% of the 6.6 million church members in the U.S.

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