The Parliament of the World’s Religions was first held in 1893 to create unprecedented global discussion around faith. The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions was formed in 1988 as a host organization to the 1993 centennial celebration, which developed into a series of subsequent conferences in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2009.
Category Archives: Interfaith
A modern theological and social term referring to the effort to promote understanding and cooperation among diverse Christian groups. The adjective, ecumenical, refers to interaction between Christians of different traditions. It is also linked to a 20th-century religious movement to bring a variety of denominations under a single Christian umbrella, such as the World Council of Churches.
This refers to activities or events that draw people from entirely different religious traditions, such as Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims. It is not a synonym for ecumenical, which refers to a multiplicity of Christian traditions, or interdenominational.
National Council of Churches
The formal name of this group, which was founded in 1950, is the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. It is commonly called the National Council of Churches, and that term is acceptable in all references. Use NCC on second reference. The NCC is an ecumenical organization that is the major national umbrella group for mainline Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, historic African-American and Living Peace churches. More than 50 other faith groups, including Roman Catholics, work with the council on humanitarian, justice and interfaith issues.
When referring to religion, pluralism is a framework that allows different religious traditions to interact with each other with respect for each other’s viewpoints but without pressure to adopt or agree with each other’s beliefs. It acknowledges that those in the majority should respect different traditions and not impose their beliefs on others.
World Council of Churches
Formed in 1948 in Amsterdam, the World Council of Churches claims the membership of 340 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 100 countries and territories, representing some 550 million Christians, including most of the world’s Orthodox churches. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member but has a working relationship with the council. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the council works for Christian unity while stressing that it is not aimed at creating a “global super-church.” It is viewed with suspicion by many theologically conservative Christian groups — including strong factions of some member churches — who believe that it waters down Christian theology and substitutes social action for spreading the gospel.