A Unique Multifaith Philosophy

Inspired by the Parliament of World Religions in 1893, IARF formed in 1900. It is thus the oldest among international multifaith organizations which emerged in the past century.

In 1901 the World Congress adopted a simple purpose: “to open communication with those in all lands who are striving to unite pure religion and perfect liberty, and to increase fellowship and cooperation among them“.


The simplicity and openness of its purpose has led to unique characteristics for IARF, which:

  • …draws from the more liberal orientations in major religious cultures of the world.

  • …specifically focuses upon religious freedom in its emergent forms everywhere: individual freedom of conscience, tolerance, dialogue and understanding, and cooperation among religious groups.

  • …encourages advocacy for individuals and groups for whom freedom is restricted, always with sensitivity to local understandings of freedom and its implementation.

  • …in its international practice is a coming together of member groups. Thus individuals benefit from a multitude of perspectives in their personal quest for global consciousness.

  • …is relational in nature, beyond arms-length dialogue to inner openness to growth and transformation.


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