URI Asia is our network’s fastest-growing region.

Asia - peace march

Cooperation Circles in URI Asia connect interfaith organizations and help mobilize thousands of local civilians to address large issues of alleviating poverty, protecting the rights of women and children, empowering youth leaders, demanding economic justice for Indigenous populations, and ending violence, infanticide and caste discrimination. URI Asia has formed an Executive Committee and legal entity, called URI Asia Trust, to formalize their work as a team.

Regional Support Staff

URI-Asia: East India, Bangladesh

  • Biswadeb Chakraborty, Regional Coordinator and National India Team Coordinator
  • Kaushik Chatterjee, CC Liaison Officer
  • Rev. Kalyan Kumar Kisku, Regional President
  • Ms. Shreyosi Biswas, Administrative Assistant
  • Abhirup Khan, Youth Program Coordinator
  • Arif Zishan, Social Media and Communication Assistant
  • Dr. Abu Taher, URI Country Contact for Bangladesh

Read newsletters from this region.

URI-Asia: South India, Sri Lanka

  • Abraham Karickam, Regional Coordinator and URI Asia Executive Secretary
  • Y. Johnson, Travelling Secretary
  • D. Sini, Office Assistant
  • Annie Lagi, Accountant
  • T.G. Stephen, Public Relation and Program Officer
  • Leya Varghese, CC Liaison Officer

URI-Asia: West India

  • Qutub Jehan Kidwai, Regional Coordinator
  • Kahirunnisa Pathan, Assistant to the RC
  • Anjan Sadavarte, Youth Mentor
  • Poonam Warang, CC Liaison Officer

URI-Asia: North India, Afghanistan

  • Subhi Dhupar, Regional Coordinator
  • Hira Paul Gangnegi, Senior Interfaith Representative
  • Nilanjana Bhattacharjee: Community Service Provider
  • Tanya Sablok: Editor in Chief, Blog Khwaeesh
  • Krupa Vasani: Assistant Community Manager
  • Aditi Ukey: Social Media and Communication Manager
  • Atharva Mehendale: Community Project Manager

URI-Asia: Pakistan

  • Fr James Channan OP, Regional Coordinator
  • Sabina Rifat, Women’s Wing Coordinator
  • Asher Nazir, Executive Secretary
  • Asmara Daud, Youth Trainer

Read newsletters from this region.

URI-Asia: South Korea

  • Jinwol Young Lee, Senior Interfaith Representative

Here’s one example of URI’s work in this region:

Zonal assemblies present opportunities for all URI groups in a region to meet each other, share ideas, and inspire new projects. For example, a recent West India assembly gathered experts to educate regional URI groups on the most effective ways of protecting the human rights of those discriminated against by India's caste system, on the latest developments in teaching peaceful social development, and on understanding the history of Islam and other traditions. At a recent East India assembly, participants of different religions (Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and tribal members) fed each other bites of traditional sweets to build unity across cultural divides.

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Stories From URI Asia

URI's Father Channan attends national harmony celebration and meets with President of Pakistan

In August 2011, 2,000 members of Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Sikh and Buddhist communities gathered at Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Pakistan’s House in Islamabad to celebrate National Harmony. The ceremony included the reading of a speech by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, regarded as the Father of Pakistan, in which he said that all citizens should be equal and there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion—a dream that is still not realized in Pakistan. The President also paid tribute to the Christian political leadership who worked with Ali Jinnah and voted in favor of Pakistan. There was also a beautiful performance by high school children singing national songs.

Ektaan CC opens new computer training center at local Mosque

Dear Friends,

Namaste and greetings of peace from India. Here are some pictures of another computer center which opened a few weeks ago with the help of the members from the local Mosque. This is the first time in the area that a computer training program has been run by URI inside the Mosque premises. URI member Md. Sarfaraz oversees the project. We expect to run a complete educational program and engage the larger community, especially targeting children from different communities to attend classes at the center. This will allow children from other communities to an opportunity to attend the Mosque and become familiar with other religions through engagement and open interaction with other children. This initiative had been planned for a long time. So it’s now being born, we are moving forward with much concrete steps to develop the plan further for greater impact.

Biswadeb Chakraborty
Ektaan CC

Indian "Independence Day" observed

Ektaan Cooperation Circle organized a soccer tournament among its members, affiliated groups and members from other organization, to observe the Indian Independence day on the 15th August. Members from Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, seniors and Youngsters played together to celebrate this day.

Raksha Bandhan ( Tie a ribbon for protection) observed

On the 13 th of August, here in the Eastern zone in India we observed the very special day call "Raksha Bandhan", it is a very significant day all over the country especially in Bengal when Tagore started this ritual at the time of crisis and tension among Muslin and Hindu. We have visited more than 500 people in 4 groups at various places to tie a ribbon which sysbolizes the fiendship and relationship to protect each other from any obstacles.

Indian Dalit Ecumenical Federation CC receives Best CC of the Year Award for URI-South India sub-region

URI-South India proudly announces that the Indian Dalit Ecumenical CC won the Best CC of the Year award in July 2011. The CC is one of 53 prominent CCs in URI's South India Region. The word ‘dalit’ stands for aborigines. The main thrust of this unit is to develop the conditional of aboriginal people, especially the youth. Many of their programs are related to capacity building.

Interfaith in Pakistan: URI Regional Coordinator Father James Channan Speaks Out for Unity Made Visible

“We have 9/11 every day in Pakistan,” said Fr. James Channan, Regional Coordinator for the United Religions Initiative (URI) in Pakistan, speaking on “Interfaith in Pakistan” at the Chapel at Croton Falls on Sunday, July 10, 2011. He explained that more than 35,000 people in his country have been killed by terrorists, making ordinary life very unsafe. There are now guards outside of mosques and churches. And it was a particular shock when Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who had been appointed Federal Minister for Minorities, was assassinated in March 2011 for his stance on the blasphemy laws often used as an excuse for persecution. Fr. Channan believes that ignorance is the root cause of terrorism and thus education is the real key to a brighter future.