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The Parliament of the World's Religions (Barcelona, Spain)
an article by Phil Wetzel

I returned recently from the incredibly inspiring and successful Fourth Parliament of the World’s Religions which was held this July in Barcelona, Spain.

The Parliament attracted more than 8,000 religious leaders (Rev. Dirk Ficca-Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions Executive Director, Rabbi David Rosen, Rev. Charles Gibbs-United Religions Initiative Executive Director and hundreds more) and lay people (Nobel Prize Winner-Shirin Ebadi, well known Dr. and author Deepak Chopra, Jane Goodall, Raimon Pannikar, Dr. Federico Zaragoza-Former Director General of UNESCO and thousands more including me). We gathered to address “Overcoming Religiously Motivated Violence” and other major issues facing the world (such as; “Access to Clean Water”, “Supporting Refugees”, and “Eliminating the Burden of International Debt on Poor Countries”).

The mission of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions is to cultivate harmony between the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its other guiding institutions in order to achieve a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions held its inaugural event as part of the Columbian Exposition in 1893 (Chicago). This historic gathering is widely regarded as the beginning of the inter-religious movement worldwide.

It took until the year 1993 (the 100th anniversary of the original meeting) before the Second Parliament was convened in Chicago. With 8,000 people from around the world coming together to share their identities, to celebrate diversity and harmony, and to explore religious and spiritual responses to critical issues facing the global community.

In 1999, the Third Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa called the world's attention to the inter-religious movement's powerful contribution to overcoming apartheid and building a new South Africa.

For more information on the Parliament please visit and


Question(s) related to this article:

How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?,

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This discussion question applies to the following articles:

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Click here for articles since 2016.

This report was posted on August 30, 2004.