International Unitarian Universalism

At the Parliament of the World's Religions 2015

By Eric Cherry

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Nearly 10,000 people from 50 faith traditions and 80 countries convened last week for the world's largest interfaith gathering, the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, to commune in harmony and to grapple with and explore solutions to global issues like climate change, war, the widening wealth gap, etc.

Founded in 1893, the first World's Parliament of Religions, as it was then known, spanned 17 days and was held in Chicago. No event of its kind, bringing together thousands of representatives of the great historic religions of the world, had ever been attempted up to that point. Read more about Unitarian involvement in the first Parliament on this informative Tapestry of Faith leader resource sheet.

Rev. Eric Cherry, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association's International Office, was one of the UUA staffers at this year's first US-based Parliament since 1993, connecting with hundreds of attending UUs and interfaith partners. It was an amazing gathering that included presentations from a long list of powerful global leaders:

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Unitarian Universalists were deeply engaged in the event and present in large numbers - perhaps as many as 500 in attendance! - and were heavily involved in more than 15 workshops and presentations during the Parliament. The Rev. Patty Willis of South Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, wrote and performed a special hymn for the gathering and led the crowd in song. (Salt Lake Tribune – 10.16.15)

“There are people of deep faith here," said Christine Ashworth, an attendee who represented the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City and a volunteer who helped at the convention.

"How can you not be inspired by the idea of all faiths getting together to be a solution?" (International Business Times – 10.15.15)

Exploring Faith

At the Unitarian Universalist exhibit booth we invited visitors to participate in a video project exploring three questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What is your religious tradition?
  3. Is there another religious tradition, beyond your own, that impacts your religious or spiritual life?

Here's what they said!

About the Author

Eric Cherry

Eric was the Director of the UUA’s International Office since August 2007. Prior to this Eric served for 12 years as a parish minister with UU congregations in Burlington, Iowa and N. Easton, Massachusetts. Eric has long been involved in the UU Partner Church movement, serving as the English...


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