Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

San Francisco Bishop Tackles Religiously Motivated Violence

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

San Francisco Bishop Tackles Religiously Motivated Violence

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO BISHOP TACKLES RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED VIOLENCE

Episcopal Bishop of California William E. Swing, founder of the United Religious Initiative (URI), spoke at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club on April 25.

Just as the United Nations was created to bring countries together to work for common goals, Bishop Swing explained his belief that a "universe of religions" would be effective in creating "a level playing field to bring peace among religions." With this goal in mind, he founded the URI in 1996. The bishop immediately realized that, in order for the group to succeed, it would have to be a grassroots project, include both men and women, and be all-inclusive, encompassing all religions and even indigenous and spiritual movements. "Unless all religions are united and find a common voice," Swing said, "there will be no resolution to global problems," such as a soaring population growth and a deteriorating environment. The hardworking bishop has committed his life to being a catalyst to unite religions.

Bishop Swing, who travels extensively on behalf of URI, noted that, compounding the problems between diverse religions, "There are problems inside religions. …

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