By SP Dwivedi
The Parliament of World’s Religions has its root in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition of Chicago. During the Exposition, the congresses were held “to bring the fraternity of nations to unite the enlightened people of the world in a general cooperation for the attainment of the great ends for which humanity is organized.”
The 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions was inaugurated on September 11 at the Parliament Memorial Art Palace and in 1893 Parliament is recognized as the birthplace of the worldwide interfaith movement. The Parliament of World’s Religions has been continuously organizing the conference since 1993. The vision of the Parliament of World’s Religions is of a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
Acharya Dwivedi organized six Pre-Parliament of World’s Religions conferences, with the help of interfaith leaders, in Metro Vancouver and attended six of them also. He presented a research paper in the Chicago Conference- “Religion, Violence and Non-Violence Violence: A Hindu Perspective.”
The theme of the Conference was “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights.” The Conference was from August 14 to August 18, 2023, at McCormick Place, Chicago. Parliament is the largest and oldest interfaith organization in the world.
Six thousand and five hundred people of faith, spiritualty, scholars, environment, climate change, social, justice activist, musician from 91 countries were registered.
Conference organized 743 regular and 5 Plenary sessions, and above all there were Task Force on Climate Action, Women, Indigenous, Next Generation, and Global Ethic.
There were 120 Exhibition Booths, community events, film shows for participants to visit and enjoy. The Sikh community of Chicago offered langar (lunch) to 7000 participants everyday from August 14 to August 18, 2023, which was highly appreciated.