In August 2023, 8,254 people from 95 countries and more than 240 religious and spiritual traditions gathered in Chicago to answer the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions’ call to conscience: defending freedom and human rights.
In 2024, many countries around the world will make critical decisions in elections which will shape the rest of this century. A record-breaking 70-plus countries, representing more than 40% of the world’s population are due to hold national elections in 2024. From January through December, voters will engage in a democratic process and the Parliament of the World’s Religions believes that people and communities have an integral part to play in shaping our common future. So much is at stake, and all people, whether religious or not, have a special responsibility to future generations to ensure that these decisions are made ethically with transparency and accountability.
The call to action of our 2023 Convening, Defending Freedom and Human Rights, highlighted challenges faced by so many around the world and examined our shared responsibilities in response to these challenges. Those gathered recognized the interdependence of our futures and the responsibility that each person has for shaping that future through a shared commitment to interfaith dialogue, civic engagement, and democracy.
In 2024, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is building on these commitments and lessons through FOCUS24 | Faith, Democracy, and Our Common Future: Shaping A Path Forward, an initiative that commits our attention to the collective concern for human rights, freedom, and democracy expressed throughout the Parliament Convening held in Chicago this past year. FOCUS24 is a year-long series of integrated events featuring leading figures in democracy, civil society, civic engagement, and mobilizing people and communities. At the core of this initiative is a commitment to working together with experts, community members, and PoWR stakeholders to develop a rich experience that prioritizes network-building, strategy mobilization, and learning.
Grounded in the Parliament’s foundational document, “Towards a Global Ethic,” FOCUS24 puts into action our shared commitments to solidarity, compassion, and interfaith understanding by offering programs that foster collaboration and civic engagement in the many critical elections taking place around the world in 2024.
Connect with fellow interfaith activists, experts, and organizations working on similar issues. Build a network that allows for collaboration, shared resources, and mutual support.
Acquire practical strategies and tools for advocating for democracy within interfaith communities and beyond. Learn how to effectively communicate the importance of democratic principles to diverse audiences.
& Our Common
FOCUS24 is an initiative of the Parliament of the World’s Religions addressing what’s at stake in 2024, the year of democracy.
At the heart of PoWR’s FOCUS24 initiative is a clear understanding that without legally protected freedoms, human rights, and democracies our mission toward a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world is in peril. Our common future is no longer under threat, but rather actively under attack. We must only look at our own communities, our own institutions, our own countries, and beyond to the atrocities being carried out in our name to understand that the heartbreaking backsliding of basic freedoms, human rights, and progress is happening now, today, every day.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions profoundly understands that people, whether religious or not, hold critical social capital that can make the difference between the erosion of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism. FOCUS24 examines what is at stake in these elections, provides an in-depth guide to the critical issues, and explores the values and beliefs that guide us.
The Year of
70+ national elections and 50+ local elections are engaging millions of people and shaping the future of the world this calendar year. From January through December, voters will engage in a democratic process and the Parliament of the World’s Religions believes that people, whether religious or not, have an integral part to play in shaping our common future.
2024 has been designated by many civil society organizations as “The Year of Democracy”.
Of the 193 sovereign states in the world TODAY, 74 are scheduled to host national elections within the 2024 calendar year.
In 2024 municipalities, cities, states, and legislative bodies will vote on 62 critical local elections.
More than 40% of the world’s population is eligible to vote in 2024 and the result of these elections will shape the future of not just the 4 billion people within those countries, but our world at large.
We know the threat, we know the challenge, we know how important people, whether religious or not, are in our common future. Now, it’s time to shape a path forward. And we can’t do it without you.
FOCUS24 is at its core an initiative that bridges the gap between the lectern and the participant by committing to a community first approach. This means that participants are actively interacting not just with the featured experts but with the FOCUS24 community at every stage of the initiative. It is participants, in direct partnership with the Parliament of the World’s Religions, that are shaping a path forward, towards our common future.