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Rev. HPs. Phyllis Curott Calls for Defense of Dignity, Freedom, and Human Rights for All

March 21, 2023

Rev. HPs. Phyllis Curott, the Program Chair of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, addresses the urgent theme of the gathering this August, defending freedom and human rights against the rise of authoritarianism. In particular, Rev. Curott urged people of faith to answer the Convening’s call to conscience to put a stop to individuals, groups, and states attempting to misappropriate religions to justify the unjustifiable. Answer the call, register today!

Transcript of Speech:

Good morning. I’m Phyllis Curott. I’m honored to serve as the Program Chair for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions.  I want to extend our gratitude to the members of the 4th Estate, for your presence today and for your essential role in assuring freedom of thought, speech and the press which are essential to the integrity of free societies.

My task today is to speak, briefly, to this Parliament’s urgent theme: A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights.  This Parliament will be the most important and largest gathering of the world’s religious and spiritual leaders, and practitioners, 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, they are fostering hate and the resurgence of anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia, misogyny, and racism.  And they are attempting to misappropriate religions to justify the unjustifiable. 

This is not who we are.

Every faith has, at its core, a summoning to ease the suffering of others and to contribute to a just, peaceful and sustainable world.  Today, the Parliament of the World’s Religions issues its Call to Conscience to people of faith and spirit, to the people of Chicago, to all people of conscience, to stand together in defense of the dignity, freedom and human rights of all. 

We’ll see you in Chicago.

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