Love Thy Neighbor: People of All Beliefs, Including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Agnostics, Helping Each Other Through COVID-19 Crisis

24 April 2020, 1:16 PM
Global Compassion

Global Compassion, a URI member group in Cameroon, produces face masks locally to donate to villagers in underprivileged areas who are unable to avoid crowded markets. This group also supplies portable handwashing stations for villages without running water.

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.

RI Global Youth Cooperation Circle

Members of the URI Global Youth Cooperation Circle, a URI member group comprised of young leaders who are at the heart of interfaith-led social transformation across the world, are connecting virtually during the COVID-19 crisis. In this picture, they hold up the word "Hope" in the languages they speak. Watch and share their inspiring videos.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

URI Europe hosted a one-hour open community call titled “Let’s come together to share, pray and heal” for URI family from all around the world. Read the story. 

Jerusalem Peacebuilders

Jerusalem Peacemakers tout a a new way of greeting before social distancing came into effect worldwide. This URI member group in the Middle East gathers interfaith leaders from many traditions to pray together during this challenging time. Read the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Research and Empowerment Organization (REO), a URI member group in Bangladesh, is distributing much-needed supplies to vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 crisis. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Research and Empowerment Organization (REO), a URI member group in Bangladesh, is distributing much-needed supplies to vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 crisis. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Global Compassion, a URI member group in Cameroon, supplies portable handwashing stations for villages without running water. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Global Compassion, a URI member group in Cameroon, supplies portable handwashing stations for villages without running water. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Mithra Foundation, a URI group in Bhongiri, Telangana, India, is gathering and distributing essential mixed vegetables to poor families who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Mithra Foundation, a URI group in Bhongiri, Telangana, India, is gathering and distributing essential mixed vegetables to poor families who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Undugu Family of HOPE, a URI member group, is working with the Bill Cook Foundation distributing food door-to-door for the sick, elderly, and people with special needs in Nairobi, Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Undugu Family of HOPE, a URI member group, is working with the Bill Cook Foundation distributing food door-to-door for the sick, elderly, and people with special needs in Nairobi, Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Sarvodaya Shanti Sena is a URI member group in Sri Lanka that is distributing supplies to the needy during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

The URI community responds to the COVID-19 crisis in Somalia.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Global Compassion, a URI member group in Cameroon, is donating face masks to the needy. See the story.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

The URI North India and Afghanistan region, including URI member group Love Care Foundation, successfully distributed dry rations to over 1,000 familes in the National Capital Region amidst the coronavirus scare. See more.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

The URI North India and Afghanistan region, including URI member group Love Care Foundation, successfully distributed dry rations to over 1,000 familes in the National Capital Region amidst the coronavirus scare. See more.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Society for Welfare of the Handicapped, a URI member group in Patiala, Northern India, is distributing food to the needy during the COVID-19 crisis. See more.

URI Responds to the Coronavirus Pandemic - Together

Society for Welfare of the Handicapped, a URI member group in Patiala, Northern India, is distributing food to the needy during the COVID-19 crisis. See more.

Pakigdait Radio

Pakigdait Inc., a URI member group in the Philippines, delivered a radio broadcast to provide comfort during a time of stress and fear over the pandemic. Read the story.

Alor Jatri1

Alor Jatri (Vanguard of Light), a URI member group based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, distributed basic foods in five villages to 115 needy families who are living hand-to-mouth. This food program was supported by URI Bangladesh. Read the story.

Alor Jatri2

Alor Jatri (Vanguard of Light), a URI member group based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, distributed basic foods in five villages to 115 needy families who are living hand-to-mouth. This food program was supported by URI Bangladesh. Read the story.

PeaceHopePakistan-Relief

Peace Hope Pakistan, a URI member group, is distributing food packs and face masks to families that do not have enough food or safety supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story.

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ABOUT URI

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.

Contact:

Isabelle Ortega, URI Communications Director

United Religions Initiative

[email protected]

+1-415-762-2710