Master Hsin Tao Represents the MWR at the Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City

2015-10-15
Master Hsin Tao Represents the MWR at the Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake CityThe Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in Salt Lake City on October 15–19 with over 10,000 participants and attendees from around 80 countries and representing some 50 odd faiths. The opening ceremony was attended by the governor of Utah, the Mayor of Salt Lake City, and a special representative from the United Nations. Master Hsin Tao, the founder of the Museum of World Religions (MWR), was one of the seven religious leaders who conducted a joint blessing during the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony commenced with an impressive Olympics-style procession in which participants dressed in their traditional religious attire entered the main hall in single file flanked on either side by several thousand attendees. The Parliament was officially opened by Abdul Mujahid, the chairman of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. An opening prayer was also offered by an elder of the local native American community dressed in traditional attire, thereby demonstrating respect for those belonging to religious and ethnic minority groups.

This time the Parliament gave special emphasis to encouraging the participation of women, native peoples, and youths, and this was reflected in many of the addresses given during the opening ceremony. The prominent role of women at the event was further emphasized by the “Women’s Assembly” on the first day.

Master Hsin Tao Represents the MWR at the Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake CityThis was the fourth consecutive time Master Hsin Tao has participated in the Parliament. This time, in recognition of his many years of diligent participation in interreligious dialogue, he was one of the nine featured speakers at the event. In his address during the opening ceremony he stated, “When we start with universal love free of any type of discrimination, the kind of love born of genuine interreligious dialogue and cooperation, then we discover our inherent interdependence. So let’s listen deeply to each other’s voices and pray for peace and happiness throughout the world.”

During the Parliament Master Hsin Tao also led two panels on Buddhist-Muslim dialogue, conducted a morning meditation session, and directed a fencing and drumming performance put on by a youth group from Ling Jiou Mountain’s (LJM) Malaysian chapter.

Master Hsin Tao Represents the MWR at the Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake CityParticipating organizations were invited to set up exhibition booths to facilitate interreligious understanding. The MWR’s booth featured the establishment of the MWR, LJM’s programs in Myanmar, and LJM’s disaster-relief programs, as well as materials explaining and promoting meditation practice.

Several hundred in-depth workshops on a wide variety of topics were conducted during the Parliament. With a history going back 122 years, the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions is one of the oldest and most influential organizations promoting interreligious dialogue.