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Interfaith Activities - JAINA Committee

Interfaith Activities Group Page

Interfaith Activities Committee

 Our Mission

To support interfaith activities that provide the exchange of religious views with the other major religions of the world and promote harmony, tolerance & peace with them. To increase awareness of interfaith activities and their importance among Jains and, in doing so, increase and elevate the participation of Jains in interfaith platforms and dialogues. Through these activities, we hope to also increase awareness of Jain teachings among those of other faiths and backgrounds, and actively promote the Jain Way of Life.

  Committee Members

Nikhil Bumb - Chair - Arlington, VA

Naresh Jain - Member - Rutherford, NJ

Arvind Vora - Member - Kings Park, NY

Hema Pokharna - Member - Chicago, IL

Kirit Daftary - Member - Waco, TX

Parth Savla - Member - San Francisco, CA

Neal Daftary - Member - Fort Worth, TX

  Short Term Projects

The JAINA Interfaith Committee is currently supporting the planning for the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions to be held in Toronto, Canada from November 1-8, 2018. The Parliament of the World's Religions is the premier interfaith gathering and the world's oldest, largest, and most inclusive convening of the global interfaith movement. This time the Parliament is being held in Toronto - the world's most diverse city - with the theme of "The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change". We're looking to have it be the greatest participation of Jains at a Parliament event so far! More information on the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions can be found here, and you can register here.

See below for more information and history on the Parliament of the World's Religions, including the original Parliament in 1893 with Swami Vivekananda and Virchandji Gandhi.


We June 1 2016, Institute of Jainology (IoJ) led a delegation to Vatican to meet with Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID). 35- strong international Jain delegation discussed the topic of ‘Taking care of the Earth, the home of the human family’. Dr Mehool H Sanghrajka, Director of IoJ, presented a paper from Jain perspective.

Following the meeting, the delegation had a private audience with HH Pope Francis. Expressing his joy at the encounter, Pope Francis welcomed Jains saying that, “We all love mother Earth, because she is the one who has given us life and safeguards us; I would also call her sister Earth, who accompanies us during the journey of our existence. Our duty is to take care of her just as we would take care of a mother or a sister, with responsibility, tenderness and peace”. He thanked Jains for what Jains do to protect and care for the Earth. .


As US hosts this momentous gathering for the first time in 20+ yrs, we remember Virchand Raghavji Gandhi - the first representative of Jainism in the West.

We are pleased to announce that JAINA is planning to take a delegation to the 2015 Parliament of World’s Religions being held on October 15 thru 19, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


The Parliament invites our Jain friends everywhere to the largest and oldest global interfaith summit marking its return to the United States in 2015 for the first time in 22 years.


On this occasion, we remember Jain lawyer, activist, and social reformer Virchand Gandhi who captivated the assembly of 3,000 religious leaders at the premiere 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions. Gandhi’s last-minute dispatch to this unprecedented event brought Jains into history as the world witnessed the birth of the interfaith movement. 

Gandhi's achievement of becoming the chief exporter of Jainism from India places him among spiritual leaders credited for introducing Indian traditions to the United States.

Parliament of World's Religions
Parliament of World Religions was first held in 1893 in Chicago. All eastern and western religions came together to learn about each other. For the first time, Jainism was brought to the western world through World Parliament by Shri Virchand Raghvjee Gandhi.

After 100 years the next Parliament was held in Chicago. Since then it has been held in Cape Town, Barcelona, and Melbourne and now in Salt Lake City. Just like 1893 had the first time Jainism exposed to the Western World, this Parliament too was very unique
.Read full article
Sri Vasant Vijayji addressed in Parliament

(Click on image to view video.)

Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni's Speech
Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni addressed WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) summit organized during Parliament of World’s Religions at Salt Lake City, USA in the prestigious presence of Swami Chidanand Saraswati Ji, President of Global Interfaith Wash Alliance, Secretary General Sadhvi Bhagwati Ji and many interfaith leaders, scholars and dignitaries said that Global Interfaith Wash Alliance (GIWA) is constantly making efforts to create awareness in the world for safe water, sanitation and hygiene through social revolution ‘WASH’ Read full article

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