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Why and how has the URI Europe CC formed? How did it develop historically?

When Bishop Bill Swing and others started envisioning and creating a United Religions Initiative (URI) they were inspired by the United Nations (UN). The UN had been bringing nations together for decades in an effort to cooperate for peace. Why had religions not done the same?

URI pioneers, such as Bill and Mary Swing, Charles Gibbs and Sally Mahe, travelled around the world, visiting all the regions of the globe, in search for wisdom and potential partners for a United Religions Initiative. This way they also came to Europe and met with interfaith activists, discussed their vision and ideas as well as steps towards a global interfaith movement.

Out of these meetings - and global assemblies held in California - a URI support team of volunteers formed in Europe, as in other regions. This European Support Team worked hard to register URI Europe as a legal non-profit entity in Belgium, organized European gatherings, invited others to join the movement and supported the upcoming interfaith Cooperation Circles. In June 2000 this European support team was also acknowledged as a URI CC.

Since that time, it has continued to evolve. Some of the founding fathers and mothers continue to serve on the URI Europe team, others have moved on to continue their work on the local level or in their extended networks, and new people have joined along the journey, be it because their qualifications were urgently needed on the team, or because they were fulfilling important roles as elected Global Council trustees from the region.

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi


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