United Religions Initiative and IEP Launch New Partnership

United Religions Initiative, one of the world’s largest coalitions of grassroots interfaith groups is teaming with the world’s leading think tank dedicated to measuring peace.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and United Religions Initiative (URI) will work together to build sustainable peace around the world.

A new memorandum of understanding between the two groups identifies the shared goals of promoting cultures of peace, justice, mutual understanding, respect, and promoting dialogue among people of the world’s religious, spiritual and indigenous traditions.

What is the United Religions Initiative?

URI is a global community dedicated to interfaith cooperation, ending religiously motivated violence, and creating cultures of peace.

The decentralised, inclusive and non-hierarchical collection of self-organising grassroots groups that operate locally to tackle important community issues, while simultaneously creating a global network that spans more than 100 countries.

URI has consulted with various United Nations agencies and organises the Accelerate Peace Conference.

What the partnership means

With more than thousand grassroots groups known as Cooperation Circles across more than 100 countries, URI will implement IEP’s Positive Peace framework and workshops through its network with the aim of providing better programmatic outcomes.

URI’s Cooperation Circles are self-organising groups of at least seven members representing at least three religions, spiritual expressions or indigenous traditions. The circles provide people from different backgrounds an opportunity to work together to tackle important community issues.

URI and IEP will also work together to provide local, national or regional programs on Positive Peace in various locations globally.

Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of IEP said, “This is an exciting new partnership. We’re looking forward to working with the diverse and extensive network of community-based groups brought together by URI in the interests of interfaith and broader societal harmony.”

“URI’s charter guides us to ‘create cultures of peace, justice and healing,’ and from direct experience and assessment with affected individuals and communities, we know it’s working,” said URI Executive Director Reverand Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr.

“But measuring the less tangible dimensions of positive peacebuilding can be elusive. The IEP team is answering this challenge with its groundbreaking research.”

Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. IEP has developed a programmatic approach to Positive Peace, which provides a framework to assess and then implement projects for development, peace or interfaith action.

A holistic approach, it not only reduces violence and the level of grievances, it also provides a model for robust human development. High levels of Positive Peace in a society are associated with peace, resilience, lower inflation, higher GDP growth, and better environmental outcomes.

Learn more about the relationship between religion and peace.

What is IEP?

IEP is non-profit, non-partisan, independent research institute, and the world’s leading think tank dedicated to developing metrics to analyse peace and to quantify its economic value.

It does this by developing global and national indices, calculating the economic cost of violence, analysing country level risk and understanding positive peace.