Parliament of the World’s Religions 2009 brought together religious and civil leaders and interested individuals from all corners of the globe in Melbourne. A major event held every five years, the Parliament attracted an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 delegates who toko part in workshops to establish socially cohesive and environmentally sustainable ways forward that span and embrace cultural, racial and religious diversity.
Since 1993, a Parliament of the World’s Religions has convened every five years in a major international city (Chicago 1993, Cape Town 1999, Barcelona 2004). Sponsored by the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, the 2009 Parliament took place in Melbourne, Australia.
As a multi-religious, multilingual, and multicultural city, Melbourne offered an ideal location for the 2009 Parliament. Culturally vibrant and global in vision, Melbourne and Victoria are home to indigenous and Aboriginal spiritualities as well as major world religions – Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism among others. Over 10,000 participants came to Melbourne for the Parliament, turning worldwide attention to Melbourne as a destination city with international appeal.
The Parliament ran for seven days with approximately 450 events including conferences, debates, performances, concerts and exhibitions. Parliament participants worked with others and in their own traditions to craft faithful responses to: Indigenous reconciliation, environmental care and degradation, education of the young and the challenges of social disengagement, forced migration and Artistic expression and value of sports.