Desmond Tutu to address bidders for major interreligious gathering

By staff writers
May 20, 2010

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is delivering a special address on today (20 May 2010) to the four city bid teams for the 2014 Parliament of the World's Religions.

The Parliament's Council has announced the participating bid cities as Brussels, Belgium; Dallas, Texas, USA; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Archbishop Tutu will be welcoming the cities to the bid process and emphasising the dramatic impact that hosting the Parliament can have on their cities.

He is appearing from Cape Town, South Africa, via live-stream video, as that city marks its 10th anniversary of hosting the 1999 Parliament of the World Religions and celebrates its enduring legacy.

Archbishop Tutu's address takes place as part of the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative and the launch of the Charter for Compassion in South Africa. Karen Armstrong — a well-known scholar and broadcaster on religion, and founder of the Charter - will also address the gathering via a pre-recorded address from Cape Town.

Ms Armstrong was a featured speaker at the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia.

The Rev Dirk Ficca, Executive Director of the Council, reflecting on Desmond Tutu's long-standing support of the Parliament, declared: "Since his extraordinary leadership in the effort to dismantle Apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu has been an icon of the interreligious movement."

"With the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, Desmond Tutu has been in the forefront of the ongoing task to create a more just and equitable society in South Africa. Like Archbishop Tutu, we are immensely proud of the role the 1999 Cape Town Parliament played in this historic process of national reconciliation," he added.

Archbishop Tutu's address will be available online on Friday 21 May 2010 at


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