November 30 – December 05, 2008
This November 29th – December 5th, 2008, in Mayapur, India, United Religions Initiative (URI) will hold its second global gathering of members and partners, in a small temple town on the banks of the Ganges where daily up to 10,000 pilgrims visit. Bringing together nearly 300 global interfaith leaders, from 44 countries, as well as the first interfaith youth delegation, the 2008 Global Assembly will serve as an opportunity for members, all of whom are working on interfaith projects worldwide, to speak face to face, learn from one another’s successes and to build further alliances within the URI network.The Young Leaders Program, as part of URI’s 2008 Global Assembly, will bring together 100 youth leaders ranging from ages 18-35, from 35 countries, for a five-day workshop in Mayapur. During their stay in India, they will lead sessions on leadership, visit a local village to engage in a hands-on service project to paint a peace mural, and participate in a tree-planting initiative with the village schoolchildren for the UN’s Billion Tree Planting program.
The five-day gathering in Mayapur, one of the spiritual capitals of the world, is based on the premise of being a pilgrim in one’s host country, rather than being a tourist. The Assembly’s theme this year ‘Pilgrims of Peace: Many Paths, One Purpose’ is a powerful notion, representative of the diversity of projects and faiths, as well as the dedication of URI members and delegates, all of whom, and some at great financial expense, are coming together to participate in an unprecedented grassroots global gathering for the sole purpose of furthering worldwide interfaith cooperation.
While participants in URI’s projects have included leaders such as the Dalai Lama, URI’s primary constituents are common citizens working on a grassroots level in their own communities. These individual community and spiritual leaders connect to the URI network though one or more of URI’s nearly 400 local groups based in 70 countries worldwide, called Cooperation Circles. Developed to directly assist and further the work of these interfaith Cooperation Circles, the 2008 Global Assembly in Mayapur will address questions and share experiences of respected and recognized leaders in grassroots organizing, in order to further the work of world wide interfaith peacebuilding.
United Religions Initiative (URI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of enduring and daily interfaith cooperation in order to end religiously motivated violence, and to the creation of a culture of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Founded in 2000, with a central hub in San Francisco, California, URI has nearly 400 Cooperation Circles representing over 100 faiths working on community-based projects, which serve over one million people, in more than 70 countries worldwide. Having attained special consultative status with the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations in 2007, URI’s network continues to grow and expand in areas of interfaith peace building, conflict resolution, economic development, heath, ecology and education.
The work of URI and its Cooperation Circles is as varied as their members and consists of a wide range of programs including:
Protecting street kids in Kenya
Preventing gang violence in California
Providing burial cloths for needy Muslims in local Malawian communities
Creating schools for women in Mozambique
Inspiring imam and priest dialogues in the Philippines
For more information about URI visit: www.uri.org
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