Ecumenical Service Held in SF to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the UN Charter. Also Marked the Beginnings of the United Religions Initiative

The ecumenical service was hosted by Bishop William Swing of Grace Episcopal Church in San Francisco at the request of the UN. People attending were UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Princess Margaret of Great Britain, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, President Lech Walesa of Poland and many other international dignitaries. After this ecumenical meeting, Bishop Swing decided he should investigate the possibility of establishing a United Religions Organization, or a United Nations of Religions. The United Religions Initiative was founded exactly 5 years later on June 26, 2000. He traveled throughout 1996 visiting such people as Pope John Paul II, Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa. Coming back from those meetings, he reported that the reception to the idea of a UN of Religions was overwhelming. Consequently, in 1997, Reverend Swing decided to hold the first charter writing conference for the United Religions Organization.

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