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Parliament of World’s Religions Opens in Chicago

  • The Parliament of the World’s Religions annual conference opens in Chicago.
  • Over 6,500 leaders from faith, civic and grassroots backgrounds will attend.
  • The conference aims to promote harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities.

Created to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities, the Parliament of the World’s Religions annual conference will run from August 14-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Starting on Monday morning, the event will be attended by religious and spiritual leaders from more than more than 200 different faiths and traditions around the globe.

“When people come to the Parliament they get to experience something that everybody longs for,” Rev. HPs. Phyllis Curott, Program Chair, said in a statement.

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“They get to experience the world as we all long for it to be: peaceful, curious, open-hearted, and not just tolerant but grateful for our diversity.”

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The event is a vibrant celebration of religious and spiritual traditions, promoting interfaith dialogue, understanding, and respect among diverse communities.

Moreover, 6,500-plus leaders from faith, civic and grassroots backgrounds representing more than 80 countries will convene at McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center, where a keynote speech will be given by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Participants will include representatives from the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago).

Anti-Bullying Campaign

During the conference, CAIR-Chicago will have a daily full-time booth at the “Kids of Power” section, where it will run its Healsters anti-bullying campaign for children ages 6-12, a CAIR statement read.   

Healsters is styled as a community-based initiative – underwritten by CAIR-Chicago – to help provide services and resources to students, parents, teachers, and school administrators to not only better deal with incidents of school and online bullying but to help prevent them from happening. 

Through the Healsters booth, CAIR-Chicago will facilitate kids in activities and conversations on healing, compassion, and resilience, highlighting the significance of unity and cooperation in building a more inclusive society.   

“We are honored to present Healsters at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, the world’s largest interfaith gathering. We aim to provide a nurturing space for our young participants to learn and grow, fostering a spirit of togetherness and understanding,” said Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director at CAIR-Chicago.   

Ahmed Rehab will also participate as one of 25 global faith leaders invited to sign The Global Ethic, the Parliament’s signature document since 1993, on its 30th anniversary. 

The first Parliament of Religions was held at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition and was the first formal meeting of the religious communities from the East and the West.

In 1988 the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR) was founded to organize a centennial celebration of the original Parliament.

Since 1993, Parliaments have been held in Chicago, Cape Town, Barcelona, Melbourne and most recently in Salt Lake City in 2015.