Archive for the ‘2014 Parliament’ Category
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.”
PLEASE. BE A HOPE BUILDER TODAY.
Tony Blair Foundation
Melbourne Parliament, 2009
By Andras Corban-Arthen
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.
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.
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 Radioislam.com 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.
Brussels – the capital of the Belgians and of 500,000,000 Europeans – has been chosen as the host city of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2014. The selection of Brussels was made by the Board of Trustees of the governing organization at its March 13, 2011 meeting in Chicago.
More than 10,000 people from diverse religious, spiritual and convictional traditions will participate in the 2014 Parliament, which will last for 7 days and will comprise more than 500 programs, workshops and dialogues, alongside music, dance, artistic exhibitions and related events hosted by religious communities and cultural institutions. Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions was held 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.
As the capital of the European Union, Brussels is a microcosm of the challenges and possibilities present in an increasingly multi-religious and multi-cultural continental society. Historical and geo-political dynamics connect Brussels and Europe to the rest of the world in powerful ways that have far-reaching implications.
The compelling global case for a Parliament in Brussels was amplified by the urgent need to address the issue of social cohesion in Europe and other regions experiencing religious, cultural and ethnic diversity. The role of Brussels as the capital of the European Union provides a regional and international reach, and taps into widespread dynamics that ultimately impact every corner of the world. The potential for social unrest or social transformation, at this pivotal moment in history, was the final determining factor in answering the question: Why Brussels? Why now?
Mr. Miquel Mesquita da Cunha, chair of the bid committee noted that “…although the established name of Parliament of the World’s Religions is to be cherished, the process involves not just religions but also in a wider sense spiritualities and convictions. Similarly, although senior leaders and thinkers from diverse traditions will speak at the event, the Parliament is very much for people from all walks of life – a feast for everyone!”
In the three years ahead, the 2014 Parliament program will be developed in close consultation with religious and convictional leaders and communities in Brussels itself, across Europe, and from around the world, so that the event reflects the perspectives and priorities of all faiths and persuasions.
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the Government of the Brussels Capital Region and the Brussels City Hall, as well as a number of religious, social and academic leaders and communities in the country, supported the Brussels Bid.
In making this selection the Council emphasized its commitment to continuing a relationship with the other two finalists to host the international gathering. The Council will work with local organizers to extend the reach of Guadalajara as a bridge for the interreligious movement to all of Latin America. The Council will approach Dallas-Fort Worth to consider developing together a dynamic model for fostering social cohesion in the US context.
The Council for a 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 office of the Council is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
For more information, please contact:
- Rev. Dirk Ficca, Executive Director of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions (email@example.com, (312) 629-2990)
- Miguel Mesquita da Cunha, Chairman of the 2014 Bid Steering Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Council website www.parliamentofreligions.org
- Brussels Parliament bid website www.Brussels2014.eu
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.
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.”
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.
The Council for a Parliament of World Religions determined that the city will compete to host the religious event.
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.
DFW INTERFAITH COALITION TAKES STAND FOR ACCEPTANCE AND PEACE IN BID FOR 2014 PARLIAMENT OF THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS
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.