The Parliament of the World's Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.
To accomplish this, we invite individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.
The vision of the Parliament of the World's Religions is of a just, peaceful and sustainable world in which:
- Religious and spiritual communities live in harmony and contribute to a better world from their riches of wisdom and compassion.
- Religious and cultural fears and hatreds are replaced with understanding and respect.
- People everywhere come to know and care for their neighbors.
- The richness of human and religious diversity is woven into the fabric of communal, civil, societal and global life.
- The world's most powerful and influential institutions move beyond narrow self-interest to realize common good.
- The Earth and all life are cherished, protected, healed and restored.
- All people commit to living out their highest values and aspirations.
The Parliament of the World's Religions seeks to promote interreligious harmony, rather than unity. The problem with seeking unity among religions is the risk of loss of the unique and precious character of each individual religious and spiritual tradition; this understanding is key to our framework.
Interreligious harmony, on the other hand, is an attainable and highly desirable goal. Such an approach respects, and is enriched by, the particularities of each tradition. Moreover, within each tradition are the resources (philosophical, theological and spiritual teachings and perspectives) that enable each to enter into respectful, appreciative and cooperative relationships with persons and communities of other traditions.
We live in a world of difference. Yet, we are interdependent. Nowhere is learning to live with difference more important than religion.
Too often, religion is misused as an instrument for division and injustice, betraying the very ideals and teachings that lie at the heart of each of the world's great traditions. At the same time, religious and spiritual traditions shape the lives of billions in wise and wonderful ways. They gather people in communities of shared beliefs and practices. When these diverse communities work in harmony for the common good, there is hope that the world can be transformed.
Over the years, the Parliament has initiated dialogues and nurtured relationships among people of difference. In doing so the Parliament has provided a framework for expressing many visions of a just, peaceful and sustainable future. In the process, religious and spiritual communities have discovered a shared commitment to ethical principles.
This shared commitment has opened the way for a new era of cooperative action among the world's religious and spiritual communities as well as civil and political societies. The well-being of the Earth and all life depends on this collaboration.