The Parliament of the World's Religions -- one of the world's largest inter-faith organizations -- today opened its inter-faith festival in Melbourne, Australia, according to the Voice of America (VOA) news website.
Up to 8,000 people from 80 countries are expected to attend this six-day inter-faith festival. Delegates will discuss issues such as climate change, indigenous rights, and the West's relationship with Islam.
Native American leaders, rabbis from Israel, and Buddhist monks from Vietnam will join Muslim scholars, Hindu philosophers, and representatives of the various Christian denominations at this event.
The Parliament convenes every five years. Its primary purpose is to cultivate harmony and bring together different people to share their beliefs and ideas.