SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Parliament of the World's Religions—the oldest, largest and most inclusive assemblage of people of all faiths and traditions—convened in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Salt Palace Convention Center to address the principal theme, "Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity—Working Together For a World of Compassion, Peace, Justice and Sustainability."
Despite the divisiveness and religious conflict so regularly promoted in the mainstream media, here, some 10,000 members of 50 different religious traditions representing 80 countries joined in the common goals of improving society and promoting peace.
"The Parliament was a wonderful opportunity to network with people who are tackling social issues," said Janet Weiland, L.A.-based Church of Scientology Public Affairs representative. "We welcomed more than a thousand visitors through our booths, and what struck me was the humanity and caring evident in the members of so many different religions. That's what we all have in common. We were able to share our humanitarian initiatives and provide materials anyone can use to tackle the issues all of us are involved with and concerned about."
Those issues are drug abuse, crime, immorality, intolerance and abuse of the human rights of others. Volunteers manned booths to share educational materials published by Church-supported programs. They include the Truth About Drugs drug education and prevention initiative; United for Human Rights, which makes the articles of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights clear and understandable; and the nonreligious moral code The Way to Happiness: A Common Sense Guide to Better Living.
Religions are also among those most involved in responding to disasters, great and small, and Ms. Weiland pointed out that the Scientology Volunteer Ministers tents in the main hall were very popular.
"People would line up or call ahead to reserve a place at the Volunteer Ministers tent to receive a Scientology assist," she said. Assists are techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard based on his discoveries about the mental and spiritual aspects of a person's physical difficulties. Volunteer Minister training is available free of charge to anyone wishing to learn simple tools enabling them to provide help in any crisis.
Ms. Weiland was struck by the common points of agreement among so many people of such a broad range of religious beliefs and cultural orientations. "I'm sure the others came away with that same conclusion," she said. "The theme of the conference—working together—was very appropriate."
The Parliament of the World's Religions first convened in 1893 in Chicago, bringing together Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Spiritualists. This year's event was held in the city that is the global headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also included Mormons, Scientologists, Native Americans and other indigenous faiths.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
SOURCE Church of Scientology