Press Release




• Largest, Most Diverse and Inclusive Interfaith Event Seeks Hosts for 8th and Future Convenings
• Global Week-long Gatherings Advance Movements for Peace, Justice and Sustainability

CHICAGO, USA – (January 7, 2018)  – The Parliament of the World’s Religions — the world’s premier convener of the global interfaith movement  — is today announcing the opening of a bid process for global cities to pursue hosting future global Parliament conferences that will bring thousands of the world’s most dedicated advocates of peace, justice and sustainability to their city.

Hosts of the 8th, 9th and subsequent Parliaments of the World’s Religions international events will welcome globally-recognized figures in spiritual and civic institutions, up to 10,000 visitors, and experience an inflow of millions of dollars in revenue for the local economy, over the span of a week of activities in their city.

Site selection committee Chair of the Parliament Board of Trustees Andras Corban Arthen says that future Parliaments will meet in three-year intervals “to keep pace with the fast-developing interfaith movement around the world,” bringing the event to a new nation in 2021 following the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, being held later this year between November 1 – 7, 2018, in Toronto, Canada.  .
With a 125-year history, the Parliament of the World’s Religions creates the opportunity for people of faith and conscience from around the world to assemble and to hear from wisdom leaders, which in the past have included His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President Nelson Mandela, President Jimmy Carter, and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall.

More than 50,000 participants of 200 unique spiritual backgrounds have traveled from more than 80 nations around the world to past Parliament conferences, bringing their attention and action together to dialogue, forge solutions and build networks of action.
Open to anyone interested in experiencing a fresh and sometimes boundary-pushing multi-faith encounter, the Parliament leaves a lasting legacy of cooperation in its hosting cities and changes the lives of all who are drawn into attendance— this extends into the spheres that are also represented in the Parliament, including academia, government, media, business, NGO leadership and grassroots activism.
Executive Director Larry Greenfield says, “every city has its distinct identity and, at the same time, every city reveals the challenges and opportunities of all metropolitan areas across the earth. That only increases when a city hosts a global gathering of people of many faiths and cultures but united in a pursuit of justice, peace, and sustainability. Welcoming the world to a city for a Parliament is serving all of humankind.”
Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago first established an international forum for dialogue between religions of the East and West,  modern Parliaments have been held in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004) Melbourne (2009) and most recently in Salt Lake City (2015). Traditionally, the Parliament events last for 7 days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops and dialogues, alongside music, dance, artistic exhibitions and related events hosted by religious communities and cultural institutions.
Interested tourism bureaus, advocacy organizations and government offices are encouraged to procure the request for proposals at and email to learn about partnering with PWR in a cooperative process of funding, producing and hosting the Parliament of the World’s Religions conference.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions is an international, non-sectarian, non-profit organization, established in 1988 to host the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The international office of the Parliament of the World’s Religions is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Its periodic Parliaments and ongoing initiatives cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and fosters engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
For Press Inquires Contact: Molly Horan, Director of Communications at the Parliament of the World’s Religions • 312-971-3067 •
For more information on the process of selecting the next Parliament of the World’s Religions Host City, please consult this notice from Site Selection Committee Chair Andras Corban Arthen or continue reading below.

Parliament of the World’s Religions Seeks Host City for 2021
By Andras Corban Arthen, Trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and Chair of the Site Selection Committee

As plans for the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions continue to develop, we are excited to announce the start of a search for a city to host the 2021 Parliament. Four years ago, the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions adopted a resolution to host Parliaments more frequently in keeping with the fast-paced development of the interfaith movement throughout the world. We are pleased to open the bid process for the next host city of the 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions and subsequent Parliaments, which we intend to begin hosting in 2021 following the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada. Since the last Parliament took place in 2015 in Salt Lake City, U.S.A., and next year’s event will be held in Toronto, Canada, we are looking for prospective international cities with a preference for those outside of North America for the 8th Parliament, in keeping with the organization’s commitment to bring our interfaith convenings to different parts of the world.
We are looking for cities that can meet the following basic criteria:

A convention/conference center large enough to accommodate 7,000 -10,000 participants at once, as well as having the capacity to hold at least 30 discrete, simultaneous presentations (workshops, lectures, panel discussions, etc.)

An international-class airport, with direct flights to most of the world’s largest cities

A wide range of hotels and restaurants

Convenient public transportation

A culture which supports diversity and encourages interreligious dialogue

To this end, our Site Selection Committee has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) which describes in detail the process by which interested cities can apply to host the Parliament; this document can be downloaded here.
The chosen city will join a distinguished list which includes Chicago (1893 and 1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009), Salt Lake City (2015), and Toronto (2018). To each of those cities, the Parliament has brought thousands of visitors from every corner of the world, representing the most diverse and inclusive participation of religions (200+ unique traditions), races, cultures and nationalities; an impressive array of religious, political, cultural, and academic leaders, as well as artists, visionaries, activists and performers; and important, cutting-edge dialogues on such compelling topics as climate change, global ethics, religious-based violence, women’s leadership, overpopulation, Indigenous rights, and many others.
If you think your city might be interested in hosting the 2021 Parliament, we invite you to download and read the RFP document, to share it with any relevant parties, and to contact the Site Selection Committee at

Andras Corban-Arthen
Chair, Site Selection Committee

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About The Parliament of the World’s Religions: The Parliament of the World’s Religions cultivates harmony among the world’s spiritual traditions and fosters their engagement with guiding institutions in order to achieve a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. Its origins are rooted to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where the historic first convening of the World Parliament of Religions created a global platform for engagement of religions of the east and west. Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is an international 501(c)3 NGO affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Information.

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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