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United Religions Initiative

Laughing, Learning, Listening

Laughing, Learning, Listening

by Sari Heidenreich

Laughter, listening and learning — these are the three things that come flooding back to me as I look at photos from the weekend I spent at Kashi with peacebuilders from half a dozen southern states.

An Heroic Opening Gambit

An Heroic Opening Gambit

by William E. Swing

On Tuesday afternoon, April 2, 1996, I had just presented a paper in Oxford on “The Coming United Religions.” It would be mild to say I failed in gaining backers. Afterwards, a young doctoral student from Germany, Joseph Boehle, came up to me and asked, “Would you like to have a conversation with Dr. Hans Küng?”

Peacemaking with "the Other"

Peacemaking with "the Other"

by Paul Chaffee

What does living life as an ‘interfaith activist’ mean? Millions have joined the cause in recent months, so we can well ask ourselves: What do interfaith activists share in common within our own communities and in the world? A quick, simplistic answer might be that all of us are striving towards peacemaking with ‘the other.’

Women Transforming the Globe

Women Transforming the Globe

From Women's Earth Alliance and United Religions Initiative

URI and WEA come together at a critical time – when efforts to build bridges across nations, learn from each other, and activate people power are needed more than ever. Our partnership enables both organizations to reach deeper and wider, catalyzing a global ripple effect that begins in our communities. The time is now.

“I’d Like to Help” – A Conversation with Charles Gibbs

What can we learn from a pioneer who co-created the largest grassroots interfaith organization in the world? A conversation with Charles Gibbs gifted us with answers to this question.

URI India Holds it Sixth National Assembly

This report was written and edited by: Dr. Abraham Karickam (URI Asia executive secretary), Biswadeb Chakraborty (URI national coordinator), Subhi Dhupar (head of Reporting Committee CC, liaison officer, North Zone, India, Asia), P.K. Ramachandra (CC member, South Zone), and Savita Malpani (CC member North Zone).

Grassroots Interfaith Education Goes Global

The boarding school for missionary children in northern India that I attended 50 years ago was about seven miles across mountain roads from a new school for refugee Tibetans streaming out of their war-torn homeland. The Indian government provided the buildings, CARE packages helped clothe the kids, and food was found. But they had no teachers. So, as young Tibetan Buddhists who had lost their parents, they used the tools at their disposal to start their education.

William Swing’s A Bishop’s Quest: Founding a United Religions

On the afternoon he received the life-changing call, William E. Swing had been the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of California for 14 years. At 57, his life was richly framed by four vows, as a husband, a deacon, a priest, and a bishop. He left a vibrant pastoral ministry in Washington DC in moving to San Francisco as a bishop. From Grace Cathedral atop Nob Hill, he quickly became known as a pioneer in responding to HIV/AIDS and homelessness, and a major stakeholder in addressing the needs of the elderly, immigrant ministries, and drug and alcohol rehab programs. Some touted him as a future presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. His new book, A Bishop’s Quest: Founding a United Religions (2015), tells the historic story of what he did instead.

Empowering Grassroots Interfaith in India

Recent major media stories about religion in India have focused mostly on tensions between Hindus and both Christians and Muslims over issues of conversion and diet. Flying under the media horizon are 180 United Religion Initiative (URI) Cooperation Circles in India, referred to as CCs, self-governing groups which support URI’s commitment to daily interfaith cooperation, ending religiously motivated violence, and promoting peace, justice, and healing. CCs in India have four coordinators working in the nation’s north, south, east and western regions. They are particularly active in youth projects, women in interfaith, cross-cultural dialogue, and environmental issues.

Interfaith Network is Responding to Religious Violence

URI CCs encourage one another, pray for one another, share feelings and actions. A recent response shows actions of solidarity arising…

Saving Pagan Lives

Serving on the global council of the United Religions Initiative (URI) for 15 years has given me a new perspective on my own spiritual family. URI has grown to become the largest grassroots interfaith organization in the world, with more than 650 local groups in over 85 countries. Through URI, I have seen the power that comes with the “indigenous, tribal, polytheistic, Nature-based, Earth-centered, and/or Pagan religions” being understood as a single group. One story makes the point.

Interfaith Collaboration – Walking the Talk

Principle 11 of the United Religions Initiative (URI) Charter says that “we seek and offer cooperation with other interfaith efforts.” The diverse community that met during URI’s formation in the late nineties envisioned that URI would be a different kind of organization in many respects.

Joy at the Grassroots

The faces … it is the faces of people from communities around the world that I remember most from this past year, visiting global grassroots interfaith groups. A year ago, I began my work as executive director of United Religions Initiative (URI), a rare opportunity to contribute to an extraordinary movement dedicated to building peace among the peoples of the planet. [Photo: URI]

In a World of Violent Disorder, Carrying the Agony in Hope

Written for the 639 United Religion Initiative Cooperation Circles in 84 countries, Bill Swing’s words in these difficult times resonate for interfaith activists everywhere.

What it Takes to Fund International Interfaith

United Religions Initiative: A Case Study

Talking Back to Hate Around the World

Report: Talking Back to Hate Campaign Activities 2013-2014

United Religions Initiative as Gift

Engendering Grassroots Activist Connections

Victor Kazanjian to Become URI’s Second Executive Director

New Leadership at United Religions Initiative

Connectivity – The Missing Link in Climate Change Activism

United Religions Initiative (URI) Offers an Alternative

Wicca, Indigenous Traditions, and the Interfaith Movement

The interfaith movement has an illustrious history of bringing the major religions together to compare similarities, share differences, build relationships, and discover new ways to work together for the betterment of humanity and the world. Collateral benefits that often go unnoticed include a multitude of meetings among smaller groups, communities included in global interfaith organizing efforts, who are now able to come together in their own smaller meetings, creating new networks of friendships where few existed before.