URI and International Center for Religion and Diplomacy Join Together in Interfaith Peacebuilding Efforts

10 November 2019

URI’s (United Religions Initiative) (www.URI.org) Executive Director, The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr., and International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD) (www.ICRD.org) President and CEO, James Patton, have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to promote cultures of peace, justice, mutual understanding and respect as well as dialogue among people of the world’s religious, spiritual and Indigenous traditions.

With U.S. offices in San Francisco, California, and 21 regional offices on six continents, URI is the largest grassroots interfaith peacebuilding network in the world, cultivating peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. URI implements its mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of its more than 1,000 member groups (called Cooperation Circles) in 108 countries to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s empowerment, youth leadership programs, and advocacy for human rights.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, ICRD’s mission is to bridge religious considerations with the practice of international politics in support of peacebuilding. ICRD steers religious convictions away from fomenting conflict and toward strengthening communities in their ability to resolve current and future challenges to peace by building relationships of trust. Over its 20-year history, ICRD has worked in some of the world’s most complex conflict environments, including Yemen, Syria, Pakistan, Colombia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

“Our complementary organizational goals allow URI and ICRD to achieve more with our partnership, including providing more peacebuilding tools for our global network of Cooperation Circles,” said URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian. “We look forward to reaching more communities around the world, building stronger bridges of trust and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds.”

“It is very exciting that these two visionary institutions have come together in the pursuit of religious peacebuilding,” said ICRD President and CEO James Patton. “We anticipate great things from this collaboration, as this partnership will allow us to scale the best of both organizations in new and creative ways.”

Currently partnered with URI-Africa on a program proposal which would build capacity to counter violent extremism in Mozambique, this MOU extends the partnership with ICRD and URI to a global level to build sustainable peace by providing URI Cooperation Circles with the tools they may need to help accomplish their peacebuilding and conflict transformation aims.




Isabelle Ortega-Lockwood, Director of Communications


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Nick Acosta, Communications and Development Officer


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