Imagine the scene: 1893, Chicago. The World Columbian Exposition is going on—a forerunner of the World’s Fair. Persons from all over the world are converging on the windy city and to take advantage of this fact, a number of smaller parliaments and congresses are set up. One of these was the first Parliament of World Religions. The gathering included Protestant, Catholic and Jewish representatives. Mary Baker Eddy founder of the new religion Christian Science was there, one American Muslim was present, as well as the Hindu monk Swami Vivekenanda. Though there were few participants of eastern religions and no Sikhs, this gathering is thought to be the genesis of the modern interfaith movement.
Now, more than 100 years later, multifaith work is embraced as an essential part of a creating a harmonious world community, and the sixth Parliament of World Religions is about to take place.
Thousands from across the globe desire to further interreligious understanding, cooperation and peacemaking.