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Parliament of the World's Religions Coming to SLC

Dan Bammes
Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, at the news conference announcing the meeting of the Parliament of the World's Religions planned for Salt Lake City in October 2015.

Mormons were excluded from the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893.  But the Parliament has now chosen the home of the LDS church for its next worldwide meeting.

“Salt Lake City, you’re in for a treat," said Mary Nelson, the executive director of the Parliament of the World's Religions at the announcement that its next meeting will be held in Salt Lake in October, 2015.

Nelson continued, “I can see now the whirling dervishes and the Tibetan monks and their deep, deep-throated things, and the medallion sand paintings and the gospel choirs and maybe joining with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and raising a great song.”

About ten thousand participants are expected for the meeting at the Salt Palace Convention Center.  Imam Abdul MalikMujahid, a Muslim community leader from Chicago, said the point of the meeting is to bring religious people together – but not to convert anybody.

“Parliament of the World’s Religions is not about uniting to create one religion," Imam Mujahid said.  "But we strive for something that is more achievable.  That is, harmony between people of different faiths.”

ArunGandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, plans to attend.  He lived with his grandfather as a child and, years later, remembered what he taught.

“A friendly study of all the scriptures is the sacred duty of every individual," Gandhi quoted his grandfather as saying.  "And he made this friendly study of all the scriptures.  And he found that none of the scriptures really had the whole truth.”

The most recent Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in Melbourne, Australia in 2009.

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