For the first time after more than twenty years, the Parliament of the World’s Religions returned to the United States, connecting people and the spirit of faith around the world. Ten thousand people from more than 80 countries, and 50 different religious and spiritual traditions came together again to get to know each other, share their traditions and learn from each other. Chairman of PWR Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chairman of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, noted in his opening speech: “Faith brings out the best in us and interfaith brings out the best of our faith! Too often religion is misused as an instrument of division and injustice, betraying the very ideals and teachings that lie at the heart of each of the world’s greatest traditions. However, religious and spiritual traditions in all their glory affect the lives of billions of people. When our diverse communities work in harmony for the common good, there is hope that the world can be transformed for the better.”
The Parliament in 2015 continued a rich tradition of dialogue and development of relations between people from different backgrounds who share the vision of a just, peaceful and sustainable future. This collective commitment has opened the way for a new era of cooperation between the world’s religious and spiritual communities and the world’s guiding institutions. The welfare of the Earth and all Life depends on this cooperation.
Meeting with the Board of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. From the left, Rev. Andras Corban Arthen, in charge of the site selection team, Dr. Robert P. Sellers, Chair of the Board of Trustees (from 2016), Mario Nicolini, Anna Galovicova and Larry Greenfield, Executive Director and his wife.
Brainstorming about the agenda of the Bratislava forum in 2017. From the left, Petar Gramatikov from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Anna Galovicova, Mario Nicolini, Phyllis Curott, Vice-President of the PWR (until December 2015) and Elisabeth Ziegler-Duregger, PWR Ambassador in Austria.
An early morning presentation of rituals by the indigenous peoples of Utah and indigenous leaders from around the world. Frantisek Hromada, Mary Nelson, member of the PWR executive committee who visited Slovakia in March 2015, Anna Galovicova and Mario Nicolini.
Discussion about the next PWR in Bratislava with His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. Archbishop Auza delivered the blessings of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Parliament 2015 and spoke as a keynote speaker at a plenary dedicated to climate change.
Reverend Don Rooney, President of the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO) and other representatives of his organization, including Judith Longdin, Michael Terrien and Margaret Moore, will cooperate in the preparations of the Bratislava forum. The 200-strong presence of Catholic activists led by CADEIO was the largest of all delegations at Salt Lake 2015 and prepared a rich program of workshops and training for all Catholics present at the event.
Mario Nicolini and Anas Alabbadi from KAICIID (King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue), an intergovernmental organization based in Vienna, Austria. KAICIID’s programming focused on conflict prevention and media training, especially for the young generation.
Anna Galovicova and Mario Nicolini with His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias from the Dardanelles, Permanent Representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders.
During her lecture titled “Return to God: The Spiritual Journey of the Former Eastern Bloc”, Anna Galovicova announced Slovakia’s intention to host the next forum of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. By that time, the message had spread by word of mouth among thousands of participants who brought up the subject spontaneously with members of the Slovak delegation.
Frantisek Hromada after discussion with Reverend Thomas A. Baima, vicar of the Archdiocese of Chicago for Interreligious Dialogue and Dean of the Seminary in Mundelein. Rev. Baima was a key figure in the 1993 centennial celebrations of the Chicago Parliament.