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Interfaith Dialogue: Parliament of the World’s Religions Convenes in Chicago with a Focus on Human Rights

August 15, 2023
Originally published by Buddhist Door on August 15 by 

The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions commenced on Monday, with some 6,500 religious and spiritual leaders assembling in Chicago, home to the parliament’s headquarters. Running from 14–18 August, this year’s gathering is convened under the theme “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights.”

The five-day interfaith event brings together the representatives of a multitude spiritual and faith communities—participants from more than 80 countries and 200 spiritual traditions, from Baha’i to Zoroastrianism. Topics to be addressed at the plenary sessions and numerous workshops and panels include climate change, human rights, food security, racism and women’s rights, with an underlying focus on combatting the global rise in authoritarianism.

Chicago’s mayor, Brandon Johnson, delivered the keynote speech at Monday’s opening, focusing on the conference’s theme of unity and compassion: “Your spiritual traditions have the power to guide people to a path of peace, and nurture a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration” Johnson said. “The urgency in this moment requires us to not just simply rely upon the recitation of scriptures and our sacred books, but it requires us to demonstrate the most incredible act and power known to humankind and that is the act of love,” (YouTube)

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