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Thousands Gather in Chicago for What’s Billed as World’s Largest Gathering of Interfaith Leaders

August 14, 2023
Originally published by WTTW on August 14 by Associated Press

More than 6,000 people representing scores of religions and belief systems are expected to convene in Chicago starting Monday for what organizers bill as the world’s largest gathering of interfaith leaders.

For the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the week-long event marks a return to its roots – the organization was founded in Chicago in 1893. In the past 30 years, it has convened six times, most recently in Toronto in 2018.

Past gatherings have drawn participants from more than 80 nations. This week’s speakers and presenters will represent Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Baha’i, Hinduism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Indigenous religions, paganism and other beliefs.

This year’s theme is “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights,” with a focus on combating authoritarianism around the world. Topics on the agenda include climate change, human rights, food insecurity, racism and women’s rights.

“We will take a stand for the rights we’re all at risk of losing,” said the Rev. Stephen Avino, the organization’s executive director.

Read the full feature at WTTW→