Text sourced from http://www.parliamentofreligions.org

First held in Chicago in 1893, the Parliament of the World’s Religions brings together the world’s religious and spiritual communities, their leaders and their followers to a gathering where peace, diversity and sustainability are discussed and explored in the context of interreligious understanding and cooperation.

As the world’s largest interreligious gathering, the Parliament will

  • Convene religious and civil leaders and people of faith, spirit and goodwill from at least or more than 80 countries
  • Foster interreligious, civil and cross-cultural dialogue on important local, national, and global issues
  • Invite over 10,000 participants to work together for a just, peaceful, and harmonious society
  • Have global appeal, covering social concerns including understanding and respecting diversity, peace and Indigenous reconciliation
  • Engage worldwide religious, spiritual, secular, environmental, business and educational leaders to seek commitment and practical solutions through dialogue.
  • Promote and encourage social cohesion within societies locally and across the world

The 2009 Parliament will take place in Melbourne, Australia from the 3rd to the 9th of December. A multi-religious, multi-lingual, and multicultural city, Melbourne offers an ideal location for the Parliament. Culturally vibrant and global in vision, Melbourne and Victoria are home to indigenous and Aboriginal spiritualities as well as the major world religions – Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism among others. Over 10,000 participants will come to Melbourne for the Parliament. Over seven days, delegates will choose from over 450 activities, including daily morning observances of many traditions, intrareligious and interreligious programs, models of engagement, symposia, performances, open space dialogue and exhibits. A Parliament is a place to come together to listen and commit. The entire program evolved throughout 2008 as a result of interaction with religious and spiritual communities, as well as civic and corporate groups across Melbourne and Australia. Parliament participants will work with others and within their own traditions to craft faithful responses to:

  • indigenous reconciliation
  • global poverty and global warming
  • environmental care and degradation
  • education of the young and the challenges of social disengagement
  • voluntary and forced migration
  • artistic expression and spirituality and
  • the value of sports

In today’s world, understanding between people of different traditions is not optional. It is essential. The 2009 Parliament will give people of faith, spirit and goodwill new reason to say that peace is still possible.

For further information and to register for this event go to http://www.parliamentofreligions.org