Interfaith Alliance was honored to join last month’s last month’s annual Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago for a beautiful week of learning, engagement, and multifaith solidarity. Alongside more than six thousand faith leaders from around the world representing a diversity of religious traditions, we discussed the greatest challenges ahead for all of us working to protect democracy and religious freedom – and the action we need to turn the tide against hate, religious extremism, and authoritarianism. We spoke about how now more than ever, we need to use faith as a bridge, not a bludgeon, and that religion should be a reason to celebrate, not discriminate.
It was especially gratifying to meet so many new friends motivated to learn more about our work and to join the good fight across faith and place. Throughout the week, we were delighted to have folks stop by our booth, pick up a “Democracy, Not Theocracy” sticker, and scan our QR code directing them to a page where they can write to their representatives and urge them to support vital pro-democracy legislation. Several of our Interfaith Alliance affiliates, from as far away as Hawaii and Pennsylvania, joined us and shared their perspectives on the obstacles facing their own communities. There was great enthusiasm from Parliament attendees about finding ways to be part of our network as well as participating in our new trainings on Interfaith Advocacy and Combating Hate and Antisemitism.
Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance, delivered a powerful plenary address on the role religion must play to address the surge of authoritarianism spreading across the globe. He implored the crowd,
“Let us join together in a love that refuses to hate, a love that diffuses lies, a love that targets no one, a love that casts a vision for the future in which everyone has dignity and worth. Let us join together with a love that resists the fist with an open hand, that reaches to our neighbor for their hand and creates an ever expanding circle of diverse people, faiths, races and backgrounds.”
As we look ahead to a busy fall, we’re determined to help build an America where all belong, partnering and organizing with more people than ever before. You can learn more about Interfaith Alliance’s presence at this year’s Parliament at this link: https://interfaithalliance.org/parliament-of-the-worlds-religions-hopes-to-harness-faith-to-address-worlds-ills/.