United Religions Initiative Europe

URI Europe Dialogue Letter

Issue No. 10          ***         May 2008 - June 2009

Dear friends, peace and all good to you!
We are happy to present you news from the United Religions Initiative in Europe.

URI Europe projects

Living Values Education for URI Europe Co-operation Circles

URI Europe is planning a pilot project to make Living Values Education (LVE) available to European URI Co-operation Circles from the end of 2009 on.

Living Values Education (LVE) offers practical steps for values based conversations, personal development and community activism.  It is supported by UNESCO and many other organisations, agencies, governmental bodies, foundations, community groups and individuals.

Please contact us, if you have experience with LVE and/or would like to participate in this pilot project, working on the project team, with your Co-operation Circle or otherwise. Please contact URI Europe Co-ordinator, Karimah Stauch, by email under kstauch [at] uri.org.

URI Co-operation Circle and supporter Bond zonder Naam (BZN) has been using Living Values Education (LVE) in a pilot project with 7 schools in Flanders/Belgium for two years. The project involves entire school communities, i.e. students, teachers and parents. They discuss and explore values in a world café process. From their conversations, action plans are developed.

Three members of the URI Europe Executive Committee - Patrick Hanjoul, Karimah Stauch and Patrick Nickisch participated in a LVE training day on April 21, 2009, at the Bond zonder Naam headquarters in Antwerp.

The training was led by Anniek Gavriilakis, who is the project co-ordinator for the LVE school project at BZN. 

One month before the training, the three participants were asked by Anniek Gavriilkis  to complete an online survey, using the "Cultural Transformation Tool" (CTT). All three were asked about their 10 most important values at this moment: a) personal values in their personal experience, b) organisational values in URI Europe at work right now, c) organisational values important for URI Europe's success.  The data from this online survey were processed by BZN. 

Read more and see more pictures

Activities of URI Co-operation Circles

Mussie Hailu visits Finland and Denmark

Mussie Hailu, URI's continental Co-ordinator for Africa, visited Finland and Denmark from April 24 - May 3, 2009.

The visit was organised by the Union for Christian Culture in Finland and long standing URI pioneer and journalist in Finland, Heidi Rautionmaa, who is a leader in the Religious Forum of Helsinki Co-operation Circle (CC).


Musie Hailu participated in the Finnish Social Forum. He was one of the international panellists on the opening panel, where he talked about the Global Ethic and the global financial crisis.  

Together with Heidi Rautionmaa and activists of the Union for Christian culture, he attended various meetings and workshops, among others with Finnish Member of Parliament, Pekka Haavisto, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the new Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia.  

A meeting with the Bishop of the Orthodox Church was also organized, where he addressed students of a business college and participated in a peace prayer.  

Mussie Hailu awarded a Golden Rule medal to Prof. em. Reijo E. Heinonen for his outstanding work for the last 30 years on the Global Ethic and peace and to Ms. Heidi Rautionmaa for her excellent interfaith work in Finland and for pioneering the work of URI in Finland. A third medal was awarded to Ms. Helena Kekkonen who was also the recipient of UNESCO Peace Award in 1983 and who has been working in peace education for over 40 years.

Read more and see more pictures (including from Denmark)

Contents of this edition:
URI Europe projects:
Living Values Education for URI CCs 

Activities of URI Co-operation Circles:
Mussie Hailu visits Finland and Denmark

Peace prayer in the park at the former Berlin Wall - Erection of URI Peace Pole

Co-operation Requests:
Chirimba CC, Malawi, looking for partnership with a European CC or individual
One Maghreb CC, Morocco, looking for European CC partner for youth exchange
URI Europe looking for individuals and CCs to participate in in Living Values Education (LVE) project

Quick links:
URI Europe Homepage
URI Charter
Join URI

Why join URI?
Found a Co-operation Circle

URI Europe Executive Committe:
Kiran Bali, United Kingdom
Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Dultz, Germany
Martin Gurvich, Belgium
Patrick Hanjoul, Belgium
Elisabeth Lheure, Catalonia/Spain
Deepak Naik, United Kingdom
Patrick Nickisch, Belgium/Germany
Karimah Stauch, Germany

European Co-operation Circles (CCs):

* URI Europe CC, Antwerp
Bond zonder Naam CC, Antwerp
* Convictions en dialogue CC, Septon

Bosnia and Herzegovina:
* Balkan as a Soul-Bridge CC, Sarajevo

* UNESCOCAT - Centre UNESCO de Catalunya / AUDIR - Associació UNESCO per al Diàleg Interreligiós CC

* URI Aarhus CC, Aarhus
* URI Copenhagen CC, Copenhagen

* Forum of Religions in Turku CC, Turku
* Religious Forum in Helsinki, Helsinki
* URI's Christian-Muslim Circle of Helsinki CC, Helsinki

* Pacific Teams CC / PISEF, Moissy Cramayel

* German Muslim-League Bonn CC / DMLBonn CC, Bonn
Unitheum CC, Bad Zwischenahn
* URI Berlin CC, Berlin
URI Germany CC, Bonn

* Building Real Interfaith Dialogue through Glocal Encounters (BRIDGE), Rome

* Interfaith Dialogue Utrecht CC, Utrecht
* Steering Committe URI the Netherlands, Amsterdam
* SNTL - Procesbegeleidersgroep Samenwerkingsverband Traumahulpverlening, Amsterdam 
* Women’s Group IJsselstroom Zwolle and surroundings, Zwolle

* URI Romania - Int'l Ecumenical Center CC, Bukarest

* Religions for Humanity CC, Moscow

* Center for Peace and Dialogue of Cultures, Dushanbe

* Society for Intercultural Research and Frienship (SIRF), Ankara

United Kingdom:
* Ahimsa for Quality of Life CC, London
* Faith2Faith CC, Huddersfield
URI-UK CC, Keswick, Cumbria


Peace prayer in the park at the former Berlin Wall - Erection of URI Peace Pole

On April 30th, 2009, the annual peace prayer in the "Mauerpark" took place for the seventh time. The "Mauerpark" is the park at the former Berlin Wall, the park which connects former parts of East and West-Berlin.

What was at the beginning an action of a hand full of freaks, has developed over the years into a tradition.
One night before the Walpurgis Night there used to be excessive violence between the police and civilians which caused a lot of casualties every year.

In his prayer Taufiq Mempel of the URI Berlin CC spoke about his memories when he was a little child and was not allowed to enter the area near the wall. He used to wonder what kind of world it would be there - in the West.

20 years ago the peaceful protests started in the East. In the cities of Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin people took to the streets and shouted: "We stay here". This slogan was much more frightening for the rulers than the people leaving East Germany via Hungary. It forced them to expose themselves to there own reality.

However the remembrance of the past in the former East is still difficult in Germany. On the one hand this part of German history is reduced to the "Stasi" (former Eastern Germany's secret service), on the other hand people from former East Germany now sometimes remark, that they did not have today's problems in the former GDR ("German Democratic Republic") which today can be seen in the crisis with its various elements.

Read more and see more pictures


Co-operation Requests

Chirimba CC, Malawi, looking for partnership with a European CC

The Chirimba Co-operation Circle (CC) from Malawi is looking for partnership with a European CC.
Prescot Peter Mkhwema from the Chrimba CC writes:

"We would like you to be our friends and supporters, so that you can help us appear on the world map since we believe, most of you do not know where Malawi is located on the world map. 
Please we sincerely wish to ask you to really work with us and be our supporters so that we can carry on with the activities of URI effectively.
More about us in our next mail to you.

With peace and love may God bless you richly."

If you are interested in partnership, please contact Prescot Peter Mkhewma under prescotmkhwema [at] gmail.com

One Maghreb CC, Morocco, looking for European CC partner for youth exchange

Younes Naoumi of the One Maghreb CC in Marocco is looking for a partner organisation for handing in a funding application for an intercultural youth project this summer (Euromed programe).

If you are interested, please contact Younes Naoumi under contactyouth [at] gmail.com.

URI Europe looking for individuals and Co-operation Circles to participate in Living Values Education project wanted

The URI Europe CC is looking for partners in the Living Values Education (LVE) project, such as individuals who would like to join the project team or European Co-operation Circles interested in taking part in the pilot project.

We thank you for your interest, participation

and for your work for peace, justice and healing!

Karimah Stauch
URI Europe Co-ordinator

and all members of the URI Europe Executive Committee:
Kiran Bali, United Kingdom
Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Dultz, Germany
Martin Gurvich, Belgium
Patrick Hanjoul, Belgium
Elisabeth Lheure, Catalonia/Spain
Deepak Naik, United Kingdom
Patrick Nickisch, Belgium/Germany


We unite to use our combined resources only for nonviolent, compassionate action, 
to awaken to our deepest truths, and to manifest love and justice among all life in our Earth community.


Vi forener os for at anvende vores kombinerede ressourcer, udelukkende til ikke-voldelig, medfølende handling, for at vågne op til vores dybeste sandheder og manifestere kærlighed og retfærdighed for alt levende i vores verdenssamfund. (Danish)