Pagans Help Save the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  April 17, 2013 — 4 Comments
CPWR Logo.

CPWR Logo.

While final negotiations and discussions with lawyers are still underway, it appears that the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions has successfully raised enough money by their deadline to save the organization from a sudden fiscal crisis. As the Religion News Service reports, modern Pagans played a large role in making that happen.

“With the help of pagans, Jains and people of a range of other faiths, the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions has raised more than $144,000 in two weeks using a crowdsourcing campaign in a desperate bid to survive a financial crisis […]  Two pagan groups alone raised more than $16,000. A Jain board member raised $6,300. […] As of Tuesday (April 16), the council had raised more than $144,000 of the $150,000 it needed, and had received permission from a donor to use additional funds from an operational grant, if necessary, to make the final debt repayment.”

Phyllis Curott, founder of the Temple of Ara, and recently elected to serve as the Vice-Chair for the Parliament’s Board of Trustees, posted a bittersweet note of thanks and joy, as this achievement comes during a time of tragedy.

Phyllis Curott (third from left) at an interfaith gathering.

Phyllis Curott (third from left) at an interfaith gathering.

“Sorrow in the midst of Joy – how frequently and sadly that fact is a fact of life. This morning I wanted to shout with joy Thank YOU to everyone who has helped save the Parliament. Because though we still have to raise funds, we HAVE saved the Parliament and the Pagan community around the world has played a tremendous role in that success. But instead of shouting w/ joy, this morning I am saying Thank You as a prayer of deep gratitude for the kindness, goodness, and hope that your generosity expresses and because it is the light that overcomes the darkness that caused the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, the deaths and injuries suffered. So this morning, I offer prayers of gratitude, prayers of healing, prayers of peace.”

At the Parliament’s official blog, a missive posted earlier this week by Board Chair Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, and Interim Executive Director Dr. Mary Nelson, specifically singles out Pagans for their part in this relief effort.

Board of Trustees Chairperson Imam Malik Mujahid with Board Emereti Andras Arben-Corthen in Guadalajara, Mexico. In February 2013, the Board met to explore future Interfaith efforts in Mexico.

Board of Trustees Chairperson Imam Malik Mujahid with Board Emereti Andras Corban-Arthen (of the EarthSpirit Community) in Guadalajara, Mexico. In February 2013, the Board met to explore future Interfaith efforts in Mexico.

“Plans for moving forward have jumpstarted with relief efforts from Baha’i, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Native, Unitarian, Jewish, Humanist, Christian, Pagan, Muslim, Buddhist and Spiritual communities.”

As I said at the beginning of this emergency campaign, this was a moment for the global Pagan community to distinguish itself, to solidify its place as part of the global interfaith movement.

“Supporting the Parliament of the World’s Religions at this time has practical and symbolic value. The Parliament helps bring our religions to the global stage, gives us a voice in which we can interact with other faith leaders, and helps us speak out on issues of importance to us. Supporting the Parliament also shows that we can, and will, lend support to the organizations that involve and support us. It shows that we are ready to walk on the world stage. […] Let’s send a message, image if the headlines read: Pagans save the Parliament of the World’s Religions. That is a headline I’d love to write, and I suspect, that many of you would love to read.”

While we didn’t single-handedly save the Parliament, we were instrumental in doing so, and now the world knows it. Notable Pagans from across the world spoke up to mobilize their communities, including Margot Adler, T. Thorn Coyle, Christopher Penczak, and representatives from Covenant of the Goddess, the Pagan FederationPagan Federation InternationalPagan Pride Italia, and more, added their voices to a chorus of Pagans who realized the importance of this moment. We have earned the headline, for Pagans have indeed helped save the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The work now is to build on this success and make sure we are engaged on the world stage, making sure that Pagan voices are heard on issues that matter to us, and the Parliament is a vital part of that. Congratulations to all who made this happen.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • WindReader

    as a member of the EarthSpirit Community I am so proud of the work our leadership has accomplished to keep this important organization going.

  • Deborah Bender

    If a final tally of contributors is made available, I hope you can post it here. I’m interested in knowing which pagan groups that donated and what the total contribution from pagans (individuals and groups) winds up being. If the quote near the top of your item is correct, pagans have contributed more than ten percent of the total, which is impressive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1496810171 Angie Buchanan

      Deborah, The quoted numbers at the top are not completely accurate. The total given by Pagans at this point is closer to $26,000.00. but, the final tally isn’t in yet. We hope to have access to that by the end of the week. The Pagan communities of EarthSpirit and Temple of Ara hosted part of TeamPagan ($8856.00) ; Earth Traditions community hosted the other part. ($13078.00) You can see the numbers here: http://parliamentofreligions.causevox.com/
      Additional funds came through individual donations on the general page, as well as in the mail and were not reflected on Causevox. Yes, Pagans were responsible for almost 10% of the total judgment of $276,000.History has been made here. Pagans have shown they can support what they believe in with their voices and their money. Our voices has value at the international tables of inter religious dialog. We are at once overwhelmed with gratitude, humbled, and also proud.
      ~Angie Buchanan
      Parliament Board Member Emeritus
      Director, Earth Traditions

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    In return, maybe they can capitalize the name of our religious family: With the help of pagans, Jains and people of a range of other faiths, . . . .