Looking Forward to 2014
Photo of Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Address
Finalist Bid Cities

From May 16 – 20, representatives from five international cities will gather in Chicago to learn more about hosting the 2014 Parliament. The meeting will take place at the Palmer House Hilton, site of the centennial 1993 Parliament and steps from the site of the inaugural Parliament of 1893 which launched the worldwide interreligious movement.

Much to our delight, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will personally address city representatives via live-stream video from the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative’s 10th Anniversary Celebration held in honor of the decade anniversary 1999 Parliament of Religions. Archbishop Tutu will share the meaningful legacy of the 1999 Cape Town Parliament as well as the critical importance of the Parliament of World Religions.

The Cape Town Interfaith Initiative will also celebrate the launch of the Charter for Compassion in South Africa. Karen Armstrong, a featured speaker at the 2009 Parliament, Melbourne, will deliver a special pre-recorded address to acknowledge the decade anniversary and to officially launch the Charter in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Parliament in the World
Many exciting initiatives continue to develop as a result of the 2009 Parliament.
To name a few:

Women of Faith and Spirit
Join four ‘Exploratory Conversations’ from May through July 2010 focused on a series of questions framed to support the exploration of women’s spiritual leadership. This is an easily-accessed conference call program.

The Listening Project
Launched in November 2008, the Listening Project brought together individuals who prepared for the practice of deep listening at the 2009 Parliament. The 2009 Parliament Listening Project continues to host monthly conference calls on the second Sunday of each month.

Academic Engagement
Doctoral student Kyeongil Jung recently presented at Union Theological Seminary on the "Educating Religious Leaders for a Multi-Religious World" program held at the 2009 Parliament saying,
"The 2009 Parliament was an interreligious kairos moment which proved that religion is not a problem, but a promise of hope for a better world. Leaving Melbourne, we promised one another to meet again in 5 years for the Sixth Parliament, then as young pastors, rabbis, imams, monks, nuns and scholars of religions."
Council in the Arts
A short film featuring the Council’s Executive Director, Rev. Dirk Ficca was recently awarded a Bronze Remi Award from WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival. Darfur: Raging Genocide Continues was made in collaboration with Interfaith Youth Core, Amnesty International, the UNA, the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and director  Fr. Armando Ibanez of Flashpoint Media Academy. Congratulations to Fr. Armando!

Council Updates
  • Executive Director Rev. Dirk Ficca recently returned from a European tour where he met with religious leaders, community activists, academics, EU and city hall officials in Malmo, Berlin, Frankfurt, Zurich, Geneva and Brussels to address issues of social cohesion. As minority immigrant religious communities grow across the continent, a more intentional approach is needed to welcome and integrate these communities into their respective societies. The Council has developed a comprehensive methodology for supporting a grassroots effort at integration that calls the majority religious communities to serve as the bridge to the mainstream. Follow-up conversations are targeted for July.

  • Partner Cities Director and Deputy Executive Director Zabrina Santiago will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to attend the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations conference from May 27 – 29.

  • In April, Executive Associate Amelia Perkins attended the 50th Anniversary Symposium at Harvard's Center for the Study of the World's Religions where she previously worked on a project for the Museum of World Religions in Taipei.

  • Communications Director Alisa Roadcup was awarded a Youth Scholarship to attend and present on a youth panel at NAIN, the North American Interfaith Network Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from July 24 – 28.

  • Board Chair Emeritus Rev. Dr. William Lesher provided the keynote address at Thanks-Giving Square for the celebration of the National Day of Prayer in Dallas, Texas on May 6.

Over 2,200 members from
5 continents representing over 80 faith traditions.  Join the dialogue today at

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Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
70 East Lake Street, Suite 205
Chicago, Illinois 60601 USA
Tel: + 1 312.629.2990
Fax: + 1 312.629.2991

The 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions was supported by the Australian Government’s Multicultural Affairs program, which aims to articulate and promote the benefits of balancing unity and diversity. For more information, visit

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