Happy New Year

We welcome in the New Year with hopes and aspirations for a future filled with peace, harmony and goodwill among all of the people of the world and an end to the deepening environmental crises. Since more than 80 percent of the world’s population adheres to some faith tradition, these communities are crucial agents of transformation for global, family and individual peace-and peace and healing of the whole Earth community.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions provides an inclusive, dialogic platform for people from all over the world representing a broad spectrum of religious and spiritual traditions who answer a call to harmoniously and respectfully come together to share their voices, hear the voices of others, and partake of as well as contribute to the collective wisdom of our stories that affirm our common humanity.

We look forward with excitement to the many opportunities that will reveal our growing partnerships with diverse communities of faith, spiritual paths, and ethical convictions, guiding institutions, and diverse constituencies that will speak of the Parliament’s commitment to bring cooperation and collaboration as essential paradigms for global engagement. We will broaden our outreach and participation with greater numbers of countries in regions where we have not previously established a presence.

The Parliament’s Global Ethic, whose principles are foundational to our work, will have prominence in programs that seek to establish values and the development of a moral compass to guide our actions for the betterment of ourselves and the world in which we live. Like the hub of a wheel which is the solid core from which many spokes extend, so too will the Parliament’s Global Ethic be that critical center from which the work of our important task forces on Women, Climate Action, Indigenous People, Countering Hate, War and Violence, Justice, Next Generation, and other significant programs comprise the spokes that form the framework and context from which the great wheel of the Parliament will move forward into the frontiers of the future.

The rise of women in roles of leadership in religious institutions, peace processes and family homes to the houses of governance will bring the flourishing of respect, dignity and equality for marginalized and vulnerable people everywhere. Women’s powerful voices of advocacy cannot be ignored. Women’s voices of inspiration will soar to the heights of generative actions of compassion and loving kindness for each other. Women’s voices will speak truth where falsehoods exist as women are the first teachers of the moral code for the children we bring into the world. We celebrate the emergence of women as trailblazers of positive change.

Let us join hands and welcome the New Year together. Together, our dreams for a just, sustainable and equitable world can be realized. Together, we are strong.

With best wishes for a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.




Audrey E. Kitagawa, Chair
Parliament of the World’s Religions


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The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

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