From October 15-19, 2015 some 10,000 devotees of 50 faith traditions from 80 countries are expected to fill the halls of the convention facility for the largest interfaith event in the world in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previous host cities for the event have included Chicago; Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona; and Melbourne, Australia. This year, the fifth parliament since its first appearance more than 120 years ago in 1893 will be held in the city that is headquarters to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Parliament is coming here because we’re open to all people, to all religions, all faiths,” said Imam Mujahid, chairman of the parliament’s board of trustees and the first Muslim to be elected to the position. Some 7,500 people have already registered for the event. Among the featured speakers are two Nobel Peace Prize winners, former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias Sanchez and peace activist and native of Northern Ireland Mairead Maguire, co-founder of Peace People. Other planned speakers include world-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall; Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe; Utah native Terry Tempest Williams, author, conservationist and activist; and the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder and editor of Sojourners magazine. While some people attend the parliament to hear from global leaders and participate in dialogue with people of other faith traditions, the agenda also includes training sessions for people who lead interfaith groups or coalitions in their own communities or countries, Imam Mujahid said.