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A Word from the Program Chair

Welcome to the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, our ninth convening since 1893. We’re grateful for your presence and participation as we address our urgent theme: A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights.

The 2023 Parliament convening is the most important and largest gathering of the world’s religious and spiritual leaders and practitioners, activists, and organizers uniting in a collective, courageous, and clear reply to the most dangerous crisis confronting us today–authoritarianism.

This existential, expanding, global scourge is manifesting in tyrants and strongmen who commit crimes against humanity, suppress fundamental freedoms, subvert democracies, and murder the truth with lies. These bullies and despots are pursuing nationalist wars and winking at domestic terrorism. Growing authoritarian movements are fostering hate and the resurgence of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, misogyny and racism, and too many other socially dividing hatreds to name. And they are attempting to misappropriate religions to justify the unjustifiable.

This is not who we are.

This Call to Conscience at the 2023 Parliament convening is our collective response. Together, we send a clear message to the world that faith and spiritual communities are vital and engaged partners in the defense of justice, freedom, human rights, and democracy.

We hope you will find programs, expertise, and conversations to equip you with the strategies, tools, best practices, and an activated network ready to be a critical line of defense and progress.

This 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions also offers abundant opportunities for discovery, inspiration, peace, reflection and rejoicing with an outstanding and substantial program celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of the represented traditions. And the Women’s and Climate Assemblies, the Indigenous program, and Global Ethic Symposium address our urgent theme and other critical issues confronting our global interfaith community.

Every faith has, at its core, a summoning to ease the suffering of others and to contribute to a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. May you find this 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions to be inspiring and energizing.