Source: Chicago Tribune
On July 8, 2004 the Chicago Tribune reported, "Learned Muslim clerics, Buddhist monks and Roman Catholic cardinals rarely find themselves in the same place at the same time with gurus, cult followers and mystics. But the Parliament of World's Religions, convening a weeklong conference here Wednesday, is out to change all that. Call it religious globalization or spiritual summitry. The Chicago-based organization expects to draw about 6,500 religious leaders, activists and followers of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam to the assembly. Billed as part of a 'cultural Olympics,' the conference is being held on the grounds of the 100-acre site of the 'Universal Forum of Cultures,' a more secular, five-month-long humanities festival that began in May along Barcelona's sea front. The world's great faiths have certainly interacted in the past. But in gathering traditional religions with those of a more New Age flavor, the parliament is seeking written commitments from the faithful to help tackle four worldwide problems: refugees, water shortages, religious violence and increasing debt."