The Parliament of the World's Religions

The world’s largest and most inclusive interfaith convening organization

aka Parliament of the World's Religions   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.parliamentofreligions.org

Mission

The Parliament of the World's Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

To accomplish this, we invite individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.

Ruling year info

1989

Executive Director

Stephen C. Avino

Main address

70 E Lake Street, Suite 230

Chicago, IL 60601 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3605228

NTEE code info

Interfaith Issues (X90)

Promotion of International Understanding (Q20)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Visions of the world-as-it-might-be have always found expression through the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. These traditions embody human aspirations: for meaning and purpose in life; for respect and mutuality between diverse peoples, cultures, and religions; for justice and peace; for the alleviation of suffering; and for harmony with the Earth. In the practice of these traditions, their respective communities have gained a glimpse and a taste of the world as it might be. In the long historical struggle to realize their respective visions, however, the world’s religious and spiritual communities have sometimes adopted divisive, unjust, inhumane, and Earth-denying attitudes and practices. Sadly, this phenomenon has been most clearly manifested in interreligious relations. All too often, these relations have been marred by intolerance, oppression, and even violence, dramatically undermining efforts to build a better world.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Parliament Convenings

The Parliament’s vision of a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through the engagement
of religious and spiritual communities in the interfaith movement is expressed programmatically
primarily through its periodic Parliaments.

As the world’s largest interfaith gatherings, Parliament Convenings regularly:
● Convene religious and civil leaders and people of faith, spirit, and goodwill from over 80
countries;
● Provide over 500 program offerings on identity, dialogue, and engagement;
● Foster interfaith, civil, and cross-cultural dialogue on important local, national, and
global issues;
● Invite thousands of participants to work together for a just, peaceful, and harmonious
society;
● Have global appeal, covering social concerns including understanding and respecting
diversity, peace and reconciliation;
● Engage worldwide religious, spiritual, secular, environmental, business and educational
leaders to seek commitment and practical solutions through dialogue;

Population(s) Served

Bridging the Gap Between Words and Action
Religious and spiritual leaders from every corner of the globe have confirmed their dedication to the Earth as our planetary home and pledged to address climate change as the greatest threat to our future.

Now we must change our behavior to facilitate a shift to a low carbon world. This requires modifications in energy production, food systems, modes of travel, and engagement with government. Commitments will help us get there. Every tradition utilizes commitments. We have all changed our behavior in order to match our morals and values.

Organizations, institutions, and communities all over the world are committing to change. We've come a long way. But no one individual or community can do it alone. By working together and sharing resources we can leverage the influence of the entire global faith community - totalling 6.5 Billion people - and facilitate a just transition to a low carbon world. This web hub provides some of the tools to do tha

Population(s) Served
Religious groups
Activists
Indigenous peoples
Religious groups
Activists
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of convenings hosted by the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Activists, Indigenous peoples, Religious groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The 1893 World Parliament of Religions is the landmark beginning of the modern interfaith movement. Today’s Parliament Convenings are the world’s largest and most inclusive interfaith gathering, with

Number of conference attendees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Religious groups, Activists

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The 1893 World Parliament of Religions is the landmark beginning of the modern interfaith movement. Today’s Parliament Convenings are the world’s largest and most inclusive interfaith gathering.

Number of reports written/published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Publication of FBO Action on the SDGs: Progress and Outlook in conjunction with UN Environment, Bhumi Global, and the United Religions Initiative. Report assessing faith progress on the UN SDGs.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The mission of the Parliament of the World’s Religions is to...
● Promote understanding and cooperation among the world’s religious and spiritual
communities, their affiliated groups and institutions;
● Cultivate a spirit of harmony and celebrate, with openness and mutual respect, the rich
diversity of the world’s religious and spiritual communities and their traditions;
● Encourage the world’s religious and spiritual communities that assess and renew their
role of the world’s religious and spiritual communities and their traditions in relation to
personal spiritual growth and the challenges facing the global community;
● Promote and sponsor periodic parliaments, conferences, events, programs, projects, and
other appropriate activities that further the mission of the Parliament;
● Through interfaith dialogue, cooperation and solidarity: encourage the ending of war,
hate and violence; the elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality; and the reversal
of climate change and environmental degradation.

In terms of our “measures of success,” the Parliament is fulfilling its mission...
● When diverse religious and spiritual communities are actively engaged with each other
through encounter, dialogue, and cooperation;
● When there are safe and effective vehicles by which diverse communities come to mutual
understanding, identify common values and aspirations, negotiate differences and
disagreements, and pursue healing and reconciliation;
● When strangers become neighbors, acquaintances become friends, and enemies choose to
co-exist peacefully;
● When the unique contributions of religion and spirituality are recognized by and available to
the broader society;
● When the wisdom, effort, social capital and resources of religious and spiritual communities
are brought to bear on critical issues facing the global community;
● When religious and spiritual communities partner with guiding institutions in working for a
more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

The methodology of the Parliament’s work begins with this concrete understanding of the aims
of our mission. The Parliament seeks to meet these aims by...
● Serving the global interfaith movement, wherever the work of individuals, communities,
organizations and institutions involves religion and spirituality in seeking a more just,
peaceful and sustainable world;
● Providing multiple avenues of access to the interfaith movement, through the sharing of
religious, spiritual and cultural identity, enrichment and community building through
dialogue, and engagement in addressing the critical issue facing the global community;
● Fostering positive relationships between diverse religious and spiritual communities, and
productive partnerships between these communities and guiding institutions;
● Uncovering and leveraging the shared convictions, interests, aspirations and resources of all
parties;
● As often as possible, in deepening its methodology and developing its programmatic agenda,
the Parliament seeks to move from the practical and concrete working out of active
relationships, partnership and projects, to formulating the more general elements of creating
its practical strategies, resources and policies; and
● Supporting the advocacy and engagement of religious and spiritual communities in
addressing the critical issues facing the global community, in partnership with guiding
institutions

The Parliament of the World's Religions has a well-established Board of Trustees which is comprised of leaders in the interfaith movement. The Parliament is known to be the largest and most diverse and inclusive convening organization in the interfaith movement. The Parliament prides itself on its commitment to inclusivity. Convening attendees come from over 80 different countries, with over 200 spiritual and religious traditions represented.

The Parliament’s role as a facilitator of interfaith encounter, dialogue, and cooperative common action puts it in a unique position to encourage and enable the religious and spiritual communities themselves to address the critical issues in meaningful and powerful ways.

The Parliament officially dates from 1988 when two monks from the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago suggested organizing a centennial celebration of the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition. There have since been six modern-day Parliament Convenings:

1993, Chicago, USA
1999, Cape Town, South Africa
2004, Barcelona, Spain,
2009, Melbourne, Australia
2015, Salt Lake City, USA
2018, Toronto, Canada

Throughout its history, the Parliament has published official reports on each Convening. At the 1993 Parliament, an assembly of religious and spiritual leaders gave its assent to a groundbreaking document, "Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration", a powerful statement of the ethical common ground shared by the world's religious and spiritual traditions. This Declaration was amended in 2018 to include a Directive on Care for Earth. In 1999 it released "A Call to Our Guiding Institutions", addressed to religion, government, business, education, and media, to invite these institutions to reflect on and transform their roles at the threshold of the next century. In 2020, the Parliament's Climate Action Task Force published "FBO Action on the SDGs: Progress and Outlook", a report assessing faith progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in conjunction with UN Environment, Bhumi Global, and the United Religions Initiative. Also in 2020, the Parliament's Climate Action Task Force published "Faith for Earth: A Call for Action" in partnership with UN Environment Faith for Earth Initiative.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

The Parliament of the World's Religions
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Parliament of the World's Religions

Board of directors
as of 12/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nitin Ajmera

John Pawlikowski

Catholic Theological Union

David Hales

Saffet Catovic

Nitin Ajmera

Dolly Dastoor

Michael Balinsky

Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

Bruce Knotts

Naeem Baig

Kehkashan Basu

Debra Boudreaux

Phyllis Curott

Manohar Singh Grewal

Swami Ishatmananda

Thomas Lemberg

James Lynch Jr.

Charline Manuel

Renee Mehrra

Kusmita Pedersen

Carl Murrell

Dhammadipa Sak

Scott Stearman

Michael Terrien

Michael Trice

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/1/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data