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World Congress of Religions 2012 delivers a Message of Harmony through Religious Amity

The Power of the Interfaith Movement

 

Washington DC, December 03, 2012. World Congress of Religions 2012 was concluded on 2 December 2012 with a message of peace and harmony for the peoples and nations of the world. Addressed by prominent keynote speakers like Martin Luther King III, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard, the conference also heard nineteen other respected speakers of different faiths.

Martin Luther King III addressed the World Congress of Religions 2012 as the first Keynote speaker on 30 November 2012 in the Marriott Wardman in Washington DC. Speaking on “Vedanta and Interfaith Teachings” he encouraged the conference to follow the example of Swami Vivekananda, reject violence and adopt peaceful ways to counter anger. He emphasized the importance of literacy of non-violence for any sort of conflict resolution.

The conference was addressed by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State the following day. In her keynote speech Dr. Rice offered her thoughts on the role of people of faith in making our world a better place for all. She said, “The forward march of freedom and democracy is a moral issue. Democracy is the enshrinement of freedom, which must include all and must include protection from the tyranny of the majority. It is people of faith who often make sure that none are excluded”. Dr. Rice emphasized that “governments cannot directly deliver compassion; that is the work of individuals and communities of faith”. She was applauded as an example of a woman’s achievement in one of the highest offices in government, as well as in a successful teaching career.

Tulsi Gabbard, the Congresswoman-elect from Hawaii who was also a keynote speaker, underlined the importance of a common effort by people of all faiths and communities to build a harmonious environment for all to share. She said, “The time has come for change. It is up to us, those striving towards the ideal of being servant-leaders in all that we do, to put an end to persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and work towards spreading the all-inclusive message of respect, love, compassion, and service.” Her message that politicians should be ‘servant leaders’ for their constituents and that ‘respect, love, compassion, and service’ was especially poignant given that she is a war veteran. This statement drew well-deserved applause from the audience.

Dr. Pradip K. Ghosh, the convener of the conference and the main force behind it said, “After hearing from so many intellectuals and sages of diverse beliefs, I am hopeful that world peace can be achieved only with the combined efforts of all of us. While we share our faith with only a small number of people we share the planet with over seven billion human beings, no matter of what denomination”. He further stated that, “Swami Vivekananda, whose 150th birth anniversary has bestowed upon us this opportunity, had worked towards this goal over a century ahead of us. He strove and preached extensively for world peace through observance of equal rights for all human beings, eradication of poverty and empowerment of women whom he believed to be at the root of the development of the society. I thank all the speakers for their wisdom and the attendees for making the conference successful”.

The Power of the Interfaith Movement:

Martin Luther King III addresses the World Congress of Religions 2012

Washington DC, December 1, 2012. Chairperson Dr. Pradip K. Ghosh opened the World Congress of Religions 2012 by calling forth the interfaith movement as a powerful force for solving social problems. The Congress commemorates the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Dr. Ghosh stated, “We are fortunate to gather a number of accomplished representatives from various religions for interfaith dialog. Swami Vivekananda’s ideals of universal acceptance will go a long way to foster peace and harmony among people of different faiths and beliefs.”

Mr. Martin Luther King III’s speech celebrated the visionary moral leadership offered by his father Martin Luther King Jr. and Swami Vivekananda. He called for unity and harmony, built upon the common ground of universal sacred values among religions. He provided personal examples of fostering forgiveness and harmony, and rejection of violence. Mr. King encouraged increasing education on non-violence, including teaching conflict resolution and emotional literacy. Emotional literacy is necessary to reject the culture of violence and deal with anger and frustration in peaceful and creative ways.

He called for millions to rise up and end the pollution of our planet in this decade, using non-violent principles and affirming kinship with all life. The stakes are high: we can learn forgiveness and non-violence or face non-existence. Embracing peace, hope and love is the only way for humanity to survive and prosper.

 

The World Congress of Religions 2012 Announces New Sponsors

World Congress of Religions: An international, Interfaith Conference

The World Congress of Religions 2012 (WCR 2012) announced two new sponsors for the congress to be held in Washington DC from November 30 to December 2, 2012. Dr. Pradip Ghosh, the convener of the event, stated that Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has agreed to co-sponsor the congress which is being organized to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of India’s visionary monk, Swami Vivekananda. The Swami had addressed the Parliament of World’s Religions in Chicago in September 1893 with a message of tolerance and universal acceptance as a path to engage all the world’s religious and spiritual communities to forge a new global civil society.

Ghosh also expressed his happiness that The Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States (CIC) too had become a co-sponsor of the event. He said that “the Congress is honored that a reputed organization like CIC, a body which is already ‘a thriving spiritual expression in this country and around the world’ will enrich the event by sharing its deep knowledge and experience with the attendees.”

WCR 2012 is thankful to great speakers and personalities like Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Martin Luther King III and Congresswoman-Elect Tulsi Gabbard, who will be sharing their thoughts and vision with the audience. Dr. Rice said, “The faith-based community continually helps those in need and makes a lasting impact in communities all over the world. I look forward to participating in the World Congress of Religions Conference to discuss the importance of interfaith cooperation as we work together to solve the world’s problems”.

 

Announcing the World Congress of Religions 2012:

An International Interfaith Conference

Media contact: media@worldcongressofreligions2012.org, Phone: 410-564-8128

October 8, 2012; Washington DC:  The Institute of World Religions of the Washington Kali Temple, Burtonsville, MD and The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago, announced the holding of World Conference of Religions 2012 (www.worldcongressofreligions2012.org) from 30 November 2012 to 2 December 2012 in Washington DC.

Dr Pradip Ghosh, an eminent educator, Philanthropist, and co-convener of the conference, announced that the event was being held to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, a great Hindu reformer of 19th century India.

Ghosh stated that, “There is no better way to honor such a great and enlightened scholar, who was a citizen of the world well before his time, than to organize an Interfaith Conference which will help close the distance between religions.”

Ghosh further informed that Dr Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State, and Reverend Martin Luther King III will be the keynote speakers at the conference.

The conference will also have well known scholars from different faiths and nations to express their views to promote mutual understanding and harmony between religions and cultures.

Jeffery D. Long Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College and speaker at the World Congress said, “It is an equal responsibility of all religions to promote the well-being of humanity. All faiths share humanity like they share the planet and must work together to eliminate the ills plaguing it. This conference is aimed at promoting this theme”.

About World Congress of Religions 2012 (WCR2012): WCR2012 (www.worldcongressofreligions2012.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The World Congress of Religions 2012 will explore the relevance of religion and spirituality in addressing the critical issues of poverty, the empowerment of women, human rights and peacemaking. The event is inspired by the message of the religious and social visionary, Swami Vivekananda, on the 150th anniversary of his birth. The event will be held at

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington DC 20008 between November 30 – December 2.

For more information, please visit our website at www.worldcongressofreligions2012.org, call 410-564-8128, or email us at media@worldcongressofreligions2012.org.