PRESS RELEASE -- San Francisco, Apr 24, 2020 -- We are living in a time of crisis: a global pandemic the severity of which we have not seen in more than a century. The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, does not discriminate based on region or religion. No one is immune to it, and vulnerable populations find themselves at growing risk as each day passes.
In the midst of the anxiety COVID-19 has wrought, there is a global community rallying to help. Members of URI (United Religions Initiative), the largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network in the world comprised of people of all beliefs (religious, spiritual, Indigenous, and secular), are working side-by-side regardless of differences in belief and background.
Some of the collaboration includes:
- delivering food and essential supplies door-to-door in Indian slums, where many families face starvation during pandemic lockdown;
- making face masks for widows in Pakistan who depend on community aid;
- inventing and implementing portable hand washing stations in remote parts of Cameroon where sanitation is hampered by lack of running water;
- distributing resources and livestreaming virtual gatherings in communities across the United States.
Many others are generating online videos and content to provide information, comfort, and support to isolated people yearning for connection all over the world.
While a disturbing percentage of the population is allowing the virus to deepen cultural, religious, and political divisions, heckling frontline healthcare workers and rallying against government orders to shelter-in-place, the URI global community is an encouraging example of how a crisis can bring humanity together.
For inspiring examples of people in 108 countries around the world who have decided to look past differences of religion, belief, partisanship, caste, and ethnicity—just like the virus ignores these artificial divides—and to pour their efforts into helping their brothers and sisters instead, visit https://uri.org/coronavirus. This page is updated with new stories daily.
Around the world, URI members are spreading hope, offering support, and reaffirming that though we may be physically isolated from each other, we can continue to connect soul-to-soul.
Click the yellow arrows on each side to scroll through the photos in the slideshow below.
URI (United Religions Initiative) is the largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network in the world. It cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities. We implement our mission in 108 countries through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of over 1000 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights.
URI holds the prestigious distinction of being a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and has long-standing partnerships with several other UN agencies.
Learn more at URI.org.
Isabelle Ortega, URI Communications Director
United Religions Initiative