Leaving a Legacy: 1893 to Today

September 8, 2020

127 years ago, the visionary men and women of the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions had a dream of bringing people of different faiths together to get to know and understand each other and make the world a more peaceful place. Birthing a global movement, their legacy lives on to this day through the Parliament’s ongoing work. Even in today’s word where physical events must be postponed, the Parliament continues to connect the global interfaith movement through online content and engaging extensive networks to create more harmony, peace, justice, and sustainability in our world.

Leave Your Legacy in the Global Interfaith Movement

You can leave a legacy for a more peaceful, just, and sustainable future by including us in your estate planning. When you include a gift to the Parliament of the World’s Religions in your will or trust, as a beneficiary on an insurance policy, or as the recipient of a retirement account, you ensure your support for our work lives on for generations. In addition to making an impact on our future, a planned gift allows you to create a legacy that speaks to your values.

What Are My Planning Giving Options?

A bequest can be made in several ways:

  • You can gift a specific dollar amount or asset
  • You can gift a percentage of your estate
  • You can gift from the balance or residue of your estate
  • You can make a beneficiary designation of certain assets
How Do I Make A Bequest?
  • Step One: Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor, who can help you include a bequest to the Parliament of the World’s Religions in your estate plan.
  • Step Two: Name the Parliament as the recipient of a memorial gift in your will or trust, insurance policy, or retirement account. e.g. “I hereby give, devise and bequeath [_________ dollars ($_____)] OR [____ percent (___%) of my total estate, determined as of the date of my death] OR [ALL OR A PERCENTAGE of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate] to the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, a nonprofit organization located at 70 E Lake Street, Suite 203, Chicago, IL, 60601, Federal Tax ID #36-3605228, for the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ general use and purpose.”

Remembering the Legacy of 1893
“It has been my fortune to travel in many lands, and I have not been in any part of the world so dark but that I have found some rays of light, some proof that the God who is our God and Father has been there, and that the temples which are reared in many religions resound with sincere worship and praise to him.”
– Rev. Henry M Field (Presbyterian Christian)

“That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religions should cease and differences of race be annulled. What harm is there in this? Yet so it shall be.”
– Thornton Chase
(Learning of Bahá’u’lláh through the 1893 Parliament, in 1894 he became the first American Bahá’í)

“The Jew is tolerant by nature, tolerant by virtue of his religious teaching. He believes in allowing every man, what he claims for himself, the right to work out his own salvation and make his own peace with God.”
– Rabbi Joseph Silverman (Reform Judaism)

“The greatest good that a Parliament of the Religions, like the present can do is to establish what Professor Max Muller calls ‘that great golden dawn of truth that there is a religion behind all religions’.”
– Jivanji Jamshedji Modi (Zoroastrian)

“We should only judge of the inherent tendencies of a religious system by observing carefully and without prejudice its general effects upon the character and habits […] If we find that their lives are clean and pure and full of love and charity […]”
– Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb (Muslim)

“What we need is such a reinforcement of the gentle power of religion that all souls of whatever color shall be included within the blessed circle of influence.”
– Fannie Barrier Williams (Unitarian)

“If anyone here hopes that this unity would come by the triumph of any one of these religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, ‘Brother, yours is an impossible hope….’ The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.”
– Swami Vivekananda (Hindu)

“Learn to think without prejudice, love all beings for love’s sake, express your convictions fearlessly, lead a life of purity, and the sunlight of truth will illuminate you. If theology and dogma stand in your way in the search of truth, put them aside. Be earnest and work out your own salvation with diligence; and the fruits
of holiness will be yours.”
– Anagarika Dharmapala (Buddhist)

“Brothers and sisters, I entreat you to hear the moral of this story and learn to examine the various religious systems from all standpoints”
“[…] the abuses existing in our society […] these abuses are not from religion but in spite of religion, as in every other country.”
– Virchand A Gandhi (Jain)


Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions acknowledges it is situated on the traditional homelands of the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and Odawak (Odawa).

PoWR recognizes the region we now call Chicago remains home to a diversity of Indigenous peoples today and this land upon which we walk, live, and play continues to be Indigenous land.


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