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World’s faith leaders convene to ‘fight against authoritarianism’

August 18, 2023
Originally published by The World on August 18 by 

The sounds of the divine rang out from everywhere this week at McCormick Place in Chicago as hundreds of thousands of religious and spiritual leaders convened for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions.

It’s the largest and oldest interfaith gathering in the world. With rising religious extremism and nationalism around the world, from Brazil to India to the US, the focus of this year’s conference was authoritarianism.

Mohammad A. Siddiqi, an imam and educator with the World Council of Muslims for Interfaith Relations, was on hand in a room for people to learn more about Islam and to pray.

Prayer mats are arranged in one corner of the room, with a table set up for coffee and sweets to encourage conversation.

Siddiqi said it’s important to engage in conversations about authoritarianism because politicians often misuse religion to gain power.

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