What: The 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions
When: October 16 - 18, 2021 (Central Standard Time)
Where: Virtually Around the World

The 1st Parliament of the World’s Religions, hosted at the historic World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, brought together people of faith from around the world. Some like Anagārika Dharmapāla, A.G. Bonet-Maury, and Swami Vivekananda traveled for months and across continents to serve as representatives of their faiths, and many more journeyed over weeks, through countries, and across oceans to attend what would become the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement.

The 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions, hosted for the first time virtually, brought together people of faith from around the world in an instant.

The virtual Parliament served as a safe way to gather the world’s global interfaith movement and celebrate the enduring spirit and work of religious and spiritual communities striving toward a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

Programs at the 2021 Parliament

The 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions was the eighth convening and the first time that it was hosted virtually.  Recognized as the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement, the 1893 Parliament made history with its groundbreaking interreligious dialogues among leaders of Eastern and Western religious traditions, fostering understanding, cooperation and social harmony. Since 1893, six more Parliaments have been hosted in the United States, South Africa, Spain, Canada and Australia; attended by tens of thousands of people from around the world.

The​ ​2021 Parliament​ ​of​ ​the​ ​World’s​ ​Religions​ featured programs, presentations, and religious observances, held virtually,​ October 16-18. The program was hosted in Central US time, coinciding with the location of the Parliament headquarters in Chicago, but provide offerings for time zones around the world, on the theme Opening our Hearts to the World: Compassion in Action

Explore the full schedule below!

The Film Festival at the 2021 Parliament offered registrants a unique opportunity to enjoy documentaries from award-winning directors like Mission: Joy, heartfelt stories of faith like Spiritual Audacity: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story, profound stories of justice like Glimpses into the Spirit of Gender Equality, and outstanding interfaith stories like Tango Shalom.

Explore the full list of films at Accelevents, simply filter by the tag "Film Festival".

Programming for the 2021 Parliament focused largely, but not exclusively, on:

  • The broad critical issues of our mission statement: Justice, Peace, and Sustainability including Climate Action
  • Our critical constituencies: Indigenous Peoples, Next Generations, and Women and Girls
  • The signature document of the Parliament of the World's Religions, Declaration Toward a Global Ethic 

Voices of PoWR - Featured Global Luminaries

The Voices of PoWR at the Parliament are widely diverse luminaries featured at the Convening.

Check-in weekly for new updates!

Scott Stearman

Gospel for Teens Choir

Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin Muaammar

Phyllis Curott

Chief Oren Lyons

Jonathan Granoff

Rev. Diane Berke

Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor

Rev. Paulette Pipe

His Eminence Muḥammad ˁAbdur-Raḥmān Muḥammad Aḍ-Ḍuwīnī

Ming Hua Lin

His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl

Nitin Ajmera

The Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas 

Dharma Master Hsin Tao

Atmarpit Nemiji

Kehkashan Basu

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Vandana Shiva

Dharma Master Cheng Yen

Lord Karan Bilimoria,  CBE

Mena Suvari

Swami Ishatmananda

Yangjin Lamu

Yacop Cohen

H.H. Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni Ji

Mother Maya Tiwari

Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq

Sirena Huang

Andrew Harvey

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE

Her Excellency Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

Prof. Wande Abimbola

Advertising, Exhibitors & Sponsorships

The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions provides a cost-effective way to maximize your organization’s exposure to thousands of participants from at least 50 different countries and over 100 faith and spiritual traditions. Leaders in their communities, our participants are multi-generational, media-savvy, and culturally aware. Your organization will gain exposure not only as part of the virtual platform, but also to tens of thousands more through visibility on the Parliament website, social media channels, and associated marketing materials.

The virtual platform of the 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions provides outstanding opportunities for multiple and highly prominent impressions of your brand - and your commitment to bringing persons of faith and conscience together to build peace, justice, and sustainability in today’s world.

Let the world see who you are and what matters to you.

Reach socially conscious, open-minded, and connected persons by hosting a booth in our virtual Exhibit Hall. Your booth will let you reach participants with one-on-one, personal conversations that build relationships.

Build Recognition and Authority , Share a Call to Action

Exhibitor booths in the virtual event platform are a virtual space for your organization with customizable elements such as logobanner imagelinksdocumentsmediainterest/action button, and your ability to interact as your booth's representative.

One of the main reasons why exhibitors join events is to connect with potential leads or customers and expand their professional and social networks. In a virtual event scenario, there are a few ways that you can maximize that opportunity as an exhibitor through lead retrieval functions.

Interested in custom sponsorships, sponsoring a networking session, lounge, or private session, sponsoring a track, or other types of sponsorship?

Contact Emma Pittsley, Parliament Development Associate at Emma@parliamentofreligions.org

Request a Meeting

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More Luminaries Coming Soon!

Why Virtual?

When the Site Committee began the scoping of the 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions after the Toronto Parliament, its members never imagined what our communities would be facing in the form of COVID-19. In response to established safety standards, the Parliament joined interfaith and interreligious organizations across the globe in utilizing our diversity of beliefs and practices and committed to serving as a convener of the interfaith movement, virtually, to continue working together for a world-wide community that embraces love, compassion, justice, and peace during this on-going global crisis.

So why host the 8th Parliament of the World’s Religions Virtually? 

The Parliament is committed to being a safe space for people of faith to come together; both mentally and physically. During the ongoing pandemic, we could not guarantee this safety in a physical event and the Parliament convening is too important to put off. There is no better time than 2021 to bring people of diverse faith and spirituality together to bring about a better world.

The second and perhaps most important reason to go virtual for this year’s Parliament is the advantages of a virtual platform. Since 1893, each Parliament has striven to be more inclusive than the last. By allowing attendants to come to the Parliament through the click of a button in their homes and offices around the world, we bring voices that may not have ever had a chance to come before. Think of the possibilities! For the first time, the Parliament could include tours of sacred places from all around the globe. We believe that all Parliaments in the future will include some virtual element to them, even when we return to meeting in a city conference center. This is just the beginning!

Frequently Asked Questions​​​​​​​

 The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions was hosted online via the platform Accelevents, registrants were able to access the programs through their computer or preferred mobile device.**

**Supported Devices, Browsers, Operational Systems (OS)

Windows 8.1 or 10 | 32-bit and 64-bit Google Chrome (latest version)*

Mozilla Firefox (latest version)

Microsoft Edge (latest version)

Hint: It's necessary to grant the browser permission to access your webcam and microphone.

MacOS OS X 10.11 and later Safari 10 or later*

Google Chrome (latest version)

Mozilla Firefox (latest version)

Hint: It may be necessary to grant the browser permission to run the screen-sharing application.

Android OS 4.0 or later Google Chrome (latest version)

Tablet and phone devices are supported. Some features are not available on devices without Bluetooth, telephony, or Wi-Fi. Kindle Fire tablets are currently not supported.

The program was hosted in Central US time, coinciding with the location of the Parliament headquarters in Chicago, but provide offerings for time zones around the world.

The full agenda* is available under the "Programs" tab on this page and on Accelevents.

Registrants were able to access the platform live for 48 hours from 6:00 pm on October 16th through 6:00 pm October 18th, and have full access to the program for 30 days to rewatch on demand.

The registration provided full access to the 2021 Parliament programming, including plenaries (general sessions) and over 500 breakout sessions. 

Additionally, registrants had access to all recorded programs for 30 days after the Convening.

Sponsors of the 2021 Parliament​​​​​​​

What Do Past Attendees Say About the Parliament?​​​​​​​

The 2021 Parliament Convening Report

2021 Parliament Featured in Spring Issue of Parabola Magazine

The 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions is featured in the Spring feature of

2021 Annual Report

2021 began much like 2020 ended, with the world and communities grappling with the continued ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-governmental and religious organizations working remotely to safely continue their work, and a growing restlessness as hard earned progress on social justice issues seemed to backtrack.At the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the challenges of 2020 and 2021 meant proactively adjusting our approach to promoting interreligious harmony. While we had shifted a number of our programs online in 2020, the lessons from the previous year drove our organization to consider how to best serve as the world’s premier interfaith convener.After much reflection and deeply empowered by the continued support of the global interfaith movement, the Parliament set out once again to make history. As our thematic programming continued, the Parliament set out to host the 8th global Convening, and this time it would be virtual.Join our team in celebrating the work of our organization by reading and sharing our annual report!Support the Work of the Parliament

Interfaith Heroes: Exploring the Elijah Interfaith Track at the 2021 Parliament

At the 2021 Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Parliament partnered with the Elijah Interfaith Initiative to host a dedicated track, the Elijah Interfaith Track.

#2021PoWR | Opening Our Hearts to the Future of the World

The closing plenary of every Parliament is one of mixed emotions: sadness that it has come to an end, joy for what has been experienced, and the promise of what will come. Join these extraordinary voices from around the world, as they guide us on our final journey for the 2021 Parliament, "opening our hearts to the future of our world".

#2021PoWR | Compassion in Action Plenary

The Parliament has remained steadfast in its audacity to hope - hope for a better world, hope for the future of our planet, hope for each other. It is compassion, however, that is perhaps the most enduring quality of the people that make up the global interfaith movement. At the Compassion in Action Plenary at the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions, these inspiring faith and civic leaders emphasized the critical role of a compassionate morality in the betterment of our world.

#2021PoWR | Plenary on Hope

Through unprecedented grief, there is always an audacity for hope, inspired by our faith. The Plenary on Hope at the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions, global luminaries explored the challenges facing communities around the world while emphasizing the critical importance of faith leaders in a shared mission toward justice.

#2021 Parliament | Plenary on Grief

Grief has been clear and present for communities around the world in unprecedented ways since the Parliament last gathered. At the Plenary on Grief at the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions, inspiring voices guided a cathartic journey on the sacredness of grief and mourning.

Diverse faith and spiritual leaders shared prayers and reflections on different expressions of grief; grief for our communities, grief for those lost, grief for the planet and internal grief.

#2021PoWR | The Opening Ceremony and Plenary

An opening ceremony for the history books! Inspiring keynotes, sacred blessings, and messages of hope from around the world were just a few of the highlights from the Opening Ceremony and Plenary of the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions, streamed on Saturday, October 16th.

The Grief Plenary of the 2021 Parliament

On Sunday, October 17th the 2021 Parliament of the World's Religions featured over 300 programs from around the world.


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