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The Council that convenes the Parliament of the World’s Religions is faced with an enormous one-time financial challenge we must immediately overcome to continue to exist. By April 13, 2013, we can raise the $150,000 needed to go on. 

In just two days, generous gifts granted through our fundraising site on CauseVox and direct commitments have totaled more than $35,000.

CPWR Executive Director Dr. Mary Nelson says each Board Trustee is meeting equal fundraising goals through personal outreach. By helping us meet this challenge, the Board of Trustees can free the Parliament to carry on the mission of creating peace in the world through interfaith harmony by:

  • Convening the next Parliament event
  • Widening our connections and keep encouraging local interfaith event
  • Celebrating our deep 120 year history
  • Honoring our leaders and MOVE FORWARD TO A FUTURE WITH HOPE

“Our problem started when a bomber attacked Madrid just weeks before the 2004 Barcelona Parliament,” says Mary Nelson. To explain further why the Parliament is acting fast, Nelson continues,

A last-minute loan became necessary to carry out the event.  But a life changing Barcelona Parliament was held, bringing people together to overcome fear through interfaith action.

Why now?  A Spanish court judgment of $276,600 against the Parliament slowly came to the U.S. Courts. On March 21, 2013, the U.S. court upheld the debt against the Parliament. We were advised we had at least three months,  but court papers served last week gave us until April 17,2013.

The CPWR Board met and said we dare to do the impossible; the work of the Parliament must go on. To protect the celebration of our 120th Anniversary this year, we had raised $126,600 in our earlier efforts. The need now is $150,000 more.

In a few short days, by internet, direct solicitation, Board efforts, we have an additional $35,000 in hand. And we’ve just started. You can help make the difference.

Reasons to donate are many and personal, but the hundreds stepping in already have  shared that the Parliament:

  • “…teaches tolerance”
  • “…is a vehicle for peace in the world,”
  • “…was the highlight of my life.”
This is the hour that we must come together. If we care about the Parliament, NOW is the time. If you care about the Parliament, please give generously. Your gift of at least $100, or whatever you can give, can help build hope for the future.


I got chatting with a rabbi who, it turned out, was good friends with some of those I’d already met … we swapped stories and experiences; the richness of conversations like these was inspiring. As the rabbi said to me, ‘It’s not about religions, it’s about relationships.’
Sean Rose, Faith Acts Fellow
Tony Blair Foundation
Melbourne Parliament, 2009

Meeting Mexico, Parliament Board Convenes in Guadalajara

By Andras Corban-Arthen

Imam Malik Mujahid, Chairman of Parliament of Religions Board, with Representatives of Guadalajara Expo Center

CPWR Board Trustee Emeritus

In mid-February, a delegation from the CPWR returned to Guadalajara, México for further conversations with our partners from the Carpe Diem Foundation there, as well as with government officials and business leaders, to further explore the possibility of holding the next Parliament of the World’s Religions in that city. As part of this visit, the spring meeting of the Council’s board of trustees was held in Guadalajara, so that the trustees would have the opportunity to experience the city first-hand.

The CPWR delegation enjoyed a very educational tour of Guadalajara’s historical district, featuring bustling streets, charming plazas and gorgeous 16th century colonial buildings. The tour included visits to the Hospicio Cabañas, an early-19th-century orphanage sprawling over two full city blocks, which has recently been completely renovated; and the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, the second most important shrine to the Virgin Mary in México (every 12th of October, over 2 million people take to the streets to accompany the image of the virgin, on foot, for an 8 km. pilgrimage from her temporary residence in the Cathedral downtown to her permanent home in the Basilica).

The trustees also listened to a very interesting presentation by the Secretary of Public Security of the state of Jalisco, who put in perspective some of the U.S. media’s sensationalized accounts regarding drug-cartel related violence in México, and offered us some welcome reassurances about  Guadalajara’s safety.

The visit concluded with a celebratory get-together at Carpe Diem’s colorful headquarters, where the trustees had a chance to meet with representatives of many different spiritual communities from Guadalajara.

Joint Statement About Brussels 2014

The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Parliament of the World’s Religions Brussels 2014 regretfully announce that, due to the European financial crisis, it has not been possible to raise the necessary funds to hold the 2014 Parliament. The two organizations look forward to exploring other potential joint projects. Separately, the Council is pursuing options for the next Parliament with other interested and qualified cities.

November 30th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Posted in 2014 Parliament,CPWR

Tagged with , ,

CPWR Chair Named One of the World’s Most Influential Muslims

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, was cited in the latest issue of “The Muslim 500: The World’s Most Influential Muslims” for his efforts to raise awareness and understanding about faith and social issues.

The widely viewed publication from the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, an independent research entity based in Amman, is a comprehensive study of global Muslim leadership in 14 categories including politics, religion, business, science, arts, media, sports, philanthropy and social issues. Imam Mujahid was included on the list for the first time. He is one of eight Americans identified as leaders in the category of Social Issues.

The report credited Imam Mujahid with a range of contributions including his work with broadcast media and his organizing efforts as the former chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and his current role as chairman of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. Imam Mujahid, an award-winning author, is the president of Sound Vision in Chicago, which offers multimedia Islamic teaching materials. He is also the executive producer of Chicago’s and the host of a daily one hour talk program on WCEV 1450 AM.

“His development of the Radio Islam nightly talk show in Chicago is not only a source of support for Muslims, but an important educational link to non-Muslims in the greater Chicago area,” according to “The Muslim 500” publication. “Mujahid speaks with eloquence not only about the destructiveness of Islamophobia but also of the need for all people to come together in a spirit of justice and peace.”

The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, based in Chicago, is an international, non-sectarian, non-profit organization, established in 1988 to host the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Since the historic 1893 Parliament in Chicago, modern Parliaments have been held in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004) and Melbourne (2009). These periodic Parliament events are the world’s oldest and largest interreligious gatherings. The next Parliament is expected to draw more than 10,000 religious leaders, scholars, theologians, worshippers, observers and journalists to the city of Brussels in 2014.

Guadalajara Publishes Online Magazine for 2014 Bid

Aither - La Revista

Aither - La Revista

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, one of three cities bidding to host the 2014 Parliament of the World’s Religions, recently published an online magazine to support their bid.

AITHER – LA REVISTA, features an entire issue dedicated to the question “Why Guadalajara?” and highlights the recent visit of the site selection team from the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Click here to view the magazine

The three bid cities for the 2014 Parliament are Brussels, Belgium; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Dallas/Fort Worth, USA.

November 17th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

International Society for Krishna Consciousness Bids for 2014


The next meeting of one of the biggest interfaith gatherings in the world, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, could be hosted in Brussels, Belgium in 2014—and an ISKCON devotee is front and center in the bidding process.

ISKCON’s European Communications Director Mahaprabhu Dasa goes back 117 years to explain how it came to this.

“The Parliament of the World’s Religions was first held in Chicago in 1893 as part of a large fair called the World Columbian Exposition,” he says. “An historic event, it was the first major meeting between leaders and thinkers of both western and eastern religious traditions, and is now seen as the birth of formal interreligious dialogue worldwide.”

But it wasn’t until 1993, when the City of Chicago decided to celebrate the Parliament’s 100th anniversary by having an academic conference, that it became a regular occurrence.

“As they planned it, it developed into a popular event that drew over 8,000 people from many religious communities,” Mahaprabhu explains. “The organizers decided not to wait another 100 years to hold the next one. So they held another in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999.”

After this, the Parliament was established as an event that was held every five years. The next two, held in Barcelona, Spain in 2004, and in Melbourne, Australia in 2009, were similar successes.

“Since the first four had been held in America, Africa, Europe, and Australasia respectively, I was sure the fifth would be held in Asia, the only remaining populated continent,” Mahaprabhu says. “So I began to campaign for Delhi as a candidate. But when I returned to ISKCON’s Radhadesh community in Belgium, several friends of mine who had attended previous Parliaments—including a Rabbi from the Jewish group Lubavitch-Chabad—contacted me and said, ‘Why not have it in Brussels?’ They expected that I might be able to get the ball rolling because of my connections in the interfaith world.”

Whatever his position, however, and whichever city wins the bid, Mahaprabhu is all set to help increase awareness and plan the involvement of devotees from all over the world.

“ISKCON Communications and other ISKCON representatives have attended all four Parliaments so far,” says Mahaprabhu. “We had an especially good presence in Barcelona—there was an ISKCON Communications stand handing out free brochures, and a “temple shop” selling devotional and cultural products. ISKCON guru Sivarama Swami did a presentation on Hungary’s eco-village project Krishna Valley, ISKCON Deity Worship Minister Krishna Ksetra Dasa participated in a panel conference, and one devotee did a cooking course. We also performed a fire sacrifice, or yajna, and held our traditional temple morning program.”

ISKCON’s participation in the Melbourne conference, however, was minimal, and Mahaprabhu hopes that its presence can be brought to a much higher level for the next Parliament in 2014.

“We really need to plan it well in advance, and to convince ISKCON leaders of its importance and receive their support,” he says. “It’s important for us to be present and to contribute in a positive way, because the Parliament—although still in its pioneer phase—is set to become a major interfaith event. For instance, last year it received heavy coverage by the media and a White House delegation even attended. So we would like to have ISKCON’s most talented leaders, thinkers and academics from around the world making proposals for workshops, conferences and presentations.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Desmond Tutu to Retire

Desmond TutuFrom CNN

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu announced Thursday he will retire from public life in October, when he turns 79 years old.

“Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family — reading and writing and praying and thinking — too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels,” the Nobel laureate said in a statement.

“The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses,” he said.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, formally retired as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996.

But by then he was already chairing South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a public inquiry into the crimes of the country’s apartheid regime. He retired from that position in 1998.

Since then, Tutu has continued to travel the world, lecturing and advocating for various causes.

Click here to read the entire article.

Guadalajara Accepts Bid For 2014 Parliament

Dirk FiccaFrom

The Council for a Parliament of World Religions determined that the city will compete to host the religious event.

GUADALAJARA, JALISCO (21/JUL/2010).- The executive director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Dirk Ficca, formally accepted this morning the nomination for Guadalajara to host the meeting of the Parliament in 2014.

As anticipated this article, two other cities that also seek to be the seat of Parliament and whose last edition took place in Melbourne, Australia, in late 2009 are Brussels, Belgium, and Dallas, Texas, two cities that have been accepted for candidacy.
During the official announcement, Rev. Ficca also said that in seeking the seat, the Perla Tapatia seeks to become a player in the religious movements. “The hospitality and warmth of its people,” said Ficca, make our city the center of culture and spirituality of Mexico, a strong contender to win the seat of Parliament.

Dirk Ficca reiterated that the Parliament of World Religions is not official representatives of any religious congregation and does not take any political stance.

Click here to read the entire article.

Bid City Holds First Press Conference


DALLAS , TX – On the eve of scheduled picketing of a number of religious organizations, the DFW Interfaith Coalition will hold a news conference taking a stand for building bridges of peace and highlighting Dallas-Fort Worth as an official bid city for the 2014 Parliament of the World’s Religions (PWR).  The news conference will take place tomorrow, Thursday, July 8, 10:30 a.m., at Dealey Plaza , Houston and Elm Streets.  It will feature a solidarity pledge for understanding of different religious and spiritual traditions while promoting interreligious dialogue.

“The issues facing North Texas, the US and the world are so complex and multi-layered, that we can no longer look to one group, organization or even arena to move us forward,” said Rev. Weldes.  “We must all learn to work, collaborate, and operate together, and since religion can be such a seriously divisive issue, it can also be the best place to start bringing people together.  A deepening awareness of the international inter-religious movement will continue to strengthen the relationships between the diverse elements of DFW’s population.”

“Our effort to bring the Parliament of the World’s Religions (PWR) to Dallas focuses showcasing Dallas and its diversity, on building bridges among religions, spiritual, academic, political, business and non-profit sectors of our community, seeking to bring everyone to the table of dialogue, so that creative and multi-faceted conversation can be had,” says DFW Interfaith Coalition vice-chair Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes.  “We have significant issues facing our community, and an interreligious dialogue meaningfully engages people on all sides of the conversation in a significant way.”

Rev. Weldes will issue the solidarity pledge, which honors all religious and spiritual traditions, at the news conference which will also feature singers Lainey Bernstein, who will sing, “There’s a Healing Going On,” and Rev. Eric Folkerth. Those in attendance will be asked to sign petitions supporting the coalition’s efforts to bring the 2014 Parliament to Dallas-Ft. Worth.

The Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ (CPWR) mission promotes inter-religious harmony, rather than unity, an approach enriched by the particularities of each tradition.  Its goal is a just, peaceful and sustainable world where religious and cultural fears and hatreds are replaced with understanding and respect based on mutual values, and the earth and all life are cherished, protected, healed and restored for the common good.  CPWR holds a PWR every five years.  More than 6,000 people attended the December 2009 PWR in Melbourne , Australia.

Dallas-Fort Worth is one of three official bid cities for the 2014 Parliament of the World’s Religions (PWR).  A coalition of local spiritual and religious organizations are working together in this effort to be the host city.  It is the only US city being considered.  The two other candidates are Brussels, Belgium, and Guadalajara, Mexico.  A final decision won’t be announced until October 2011.
“CPWR believes that DFW is certainly an intriguing place to have a PWR since it would shake up the stereotypes that people have of this area.  We are thrilled with this opportunity,”  said Rev. Weldes.   To gain support, organizations and leaders are being asked daily to join and support the DFW Interfaith Coalition. Coalition members currently represent Muslim, Judaism, Orthodox Christian, African American Christian, Catholic, Christian United Methodist, New Thought, the Urantia Community, Sikh, Baha’i, Hindu, and Taoist spirituality traditions.

The DFW Interfaith Coalition 2014 PWR bid has the support of Mayor Tom Leppert and Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and the Dallas Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.  Coalition participants include, among others, The Foundation for Pluralism, the Memnosyne Foundation, The Aga Khan Foundation, PartnershipsInAction, and the Association for Global New Thought (Advisory member), which are all heavily involved in dialogue and cooperation with cities and organizations globally.  The Coalition will submit an extended bid proposal in August and acceptance will then make DFW part of the PWR Partner City network.

The DFW Interfaith Coalition plans meetings across the DFW area with all of the area’s mayors and religious and spiritual communities to bring them on board supporting its PWR bid.  The coalition will soon launch a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Film and Interfaith

From The Roanoke Times

The latest efforts to link people of different religions in the Roanoke Valley played out Wednesday night at a Catholic church in Southwest Roanoke County with a handful of Christians, Jews, Muslims — and a TV.

Katie and John Zawacki organized the event as part of an initiative they call Voices of Faith.

Those in attendance watched a 30-minute video from a series on the world’s three largest religions, and then they talked in small groups about their commonalities or differences — though most of the discussion centered on what was in common.

In a period of religious conflict, the third of a three-part series of discussions at Our Lady of Nazareth showed there are people who want to come together.

“Without peace between world religions, there won’t be peace in the world,” said Katie Zawacki, a member of the church who with her husband, John, helped organize the session.

Some interreligious efforts, of course, are decades old. Global meetings such as the World Conference on Religion and Peace or the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions bring together people from different corners of the world. (Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivered an address to the delegations from four cities bidding for the 2014 parliament: Brussels, Belgium; Dallas, Texas; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and Guadalajara, Mexico.)

The Roanoke Valley Ministers’ Conference, for many years an influential association, named Gerry Walter, a Jew, as its first non-Christian president in 1979.

In 2004, a group of eight congregations known as Congregations in Action organized tutoring and take-home snacks for less fortunate children at Roanoke’s Highland Park Elementary School. In 2007, Imam Ibrahim Hamidullah of Roanoke teamed up with a Hollins University professor to lead a six-week lecture series on Islam. And before the 2009-10 school year, Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders participate in a blessing ceremony for Patrick Henry High School.

“These interreligious efforts have been going on for decades,” said the Rev. Stephen Stanley of Christ Episcopal Church.

Click here to read the entire article.