West meets East: the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893 brought Western religious leaders together with their Eastern counterparts. Swami Vivekananda attended as the Hindu delegate, and Western occultism was never the same.
In 1993 the Parliament met again for a centennial celebration. I presented Wiccan Devotionals at that event, one of several presentations by practitioners of Witchcraft. Also at that Parliament many groups attending signed a draft Global Ethic calling for mutual respect among religions and an end to religious-based violence.
The Parliament has continued to meet since its centennial. Several Pagan leaders who attended the centennial have continued their interfaith work. Today Andras Corban Arthen issued a call for help for the Parliament. He has asked for a wide distribution – it is reproduced below. Please consider donating to this important organization.
THE PARLIAMENT OF THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS NEEDS YOUR HELP!
(Please feel encouraged to share this message widely)
The Parliament of the World’s Religions has been promoting peace, understanding and respect among all peoples, religions and nations for a very long time. The Parliament gave birth to the interfaith movement in 1893, and through the vehicle of interreligious dialogue, has spread its message to many thousands of people all over the globe.
For those of us who are pagan, or who follow any of the Earth-centered spiritual paths, the Parliament has provided a welcoming place where we could openly share our practices within the community of the world’s religions: pagans from five continents have been featured presenters & performers at the Parliaments in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004) and Melbourne (2009), and at the World Interreligious Encounter in Monterrey, Mexico (2007). Since 2002, three pagans — AngieBuchanan, Phyllis Curott, and myself (Andras Corban-Arthen) — have also served on the Parliament’s Board of Trustees. The Parliament was the first major interfaith organization to give our community a seat at the table.
Now the Parliament needs our help — it faces an unexpectedly immediate, one-time financial challenge, which threatens its very existence. We need to raise $150,000 by 12 April, and the many world-wide religious communities which participate in the Parliament are already mobilizing to help us reach this goal.
This is the time for the pagan movement to show its support for this organization which has welcomed and supported us for so long, and in so many ways. Please give what you can: your contribution, no matter how small, can make a big difference!
To make a donation, please go to:
Spiritual Director, The EarthSpirit Community
Member, Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions
Director & Interfaith Liaison, European Congress of Ethnic Religions