Which should I use, holding or hosting, in the following sentence?
The Ministry has been holding/hosting a consumer forum, where people discuss various matters related to consumer products.
They are synonyms, but in the context my preference is holding, a neutral word that applies well to the activities of government. Hosting has connotations more related to events held by corporations, politicians or charities. If you are hosting en event, people may expect that you will be providing amenities such as entertainment or refreshments.