Dear Friends in Faith,
I had an opportunity a couple of weeks ago to talk with a colleague and friend who had attended the Parliament of World Religions in October in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The event drew 10,000 registered attendees from 80 countries representing 50 different religious faiths. The Parliament of World Religions is the oldest, largest, and most inclusive gathering of people of all faiths and traditions. The first was held in 1893 in Chicago, at the World Columbian Exposition. (See the Christopher Columbus Museum at the Antiques Mall in Columbus for more information about that.)
My friend talked of meeting with people from world religions about which he knew very little previously. He met Jains from India whose respect for all life compels them to extreme caution about taking the life of even an insect.
Some believers from Eastern religious traditions, such as the Jains, say that the Jewish/Christian/Muslim family of monotheistic religions are much more oriented to the human community and much less to concern for the nonhuman world than most other families of religious traditions.