Finding Connections | Building Bridges

14 September 2010, 10:57 AM
Mussie Hailu, singing documents at his desk

Ambassador Mussie Hailu | Africa

When Ambassador Mussie Hailu, URI Regional Director for Africa, started doing interfaith work in his home country of Ethiopia, there were no interfaith organizations in the country. Through his Interfaith Peacebuilding Initiative Cooperation Circle, he set out to change that. Although there were peace desks from each religion in Ethiopia, there was none at the national level. “So we called up all of them and invited them to meet. URI was a very safe organization for them to partner with, because it is a bridge-building organization, not a religion, and it belongs to all.” After a series of meetings, the National Interfaith Peace Council was established to promote understanding among the different religions and build a culture of interfaith peace. “Now whenever there is religiously motivated violence,” he said, “this committee can help mediate.”