URI membership groups are called Cooperation Circles because they are created by people of different traditions who come together to initiate acts of interfaith cooperation. CCs, which are the basic unit of URI membership, consist of local or virtual groups that include at least seven members and at least three different religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions. Currently, our network includes More than 400 Cooperation Circles in 85 countries, and all religions.

Individuals, associations or organizations seeking membership in the URI join an existing CC or create a new one (Creating Cooperation Circles). In addition to new groups that come into being as CCs, many already organized interfaith groups apply to become a CC in order to be part of URI’s global network.

Rights of Cooperation Circles include:

  • Organizing in any manner and around any issue or activity which is relevant to and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.
  • Determining a process of governance and decision-making that is in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Princles.
  • Choosing to combine with or join any other URI Circles.
  • Selecting Trustees to serve on the Global Council.
  • Responsibilities of Cooperation Circles include:
  • Acting in accordance with and using it’s best efforts to achieve the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.
  • Determining a process of governance and decision-making that is in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Princles.
  • Developing financial resources to meet its own needs, and to help meet the needs of other Circles.
  • Communicating the best practices, stories, and highlights of activities with other parts of the URI.
  • Adhering to the Bylaws and operating procedures as they evolve in the life of the URI, and paying any dues and/or offer such appropriate contribution that the Global Council may establish.
  • Keeping accurate and current records of its members, financial transactions and activities.


Each determines its own unique purpose, membership, and ways of making decisions that are relevant to and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose, and Principles of URI. From organizing interfaith civic and religious events to sharing meals and conversation, from intervening peace actions in war zones to arms reduction and AIDS prevention, CC members see a need and reach out to meet it. Cooperation Circles exchange stories and reports of how they are deepening interfaith respect and creating cultures of peace in their communities.

URI’s core organizational principles, including inclusive membership, self-organizing initiatives and decentralized governance, are reflected in our global network. Together, we are designing an effective communications and knowledge sharing network and exchanging best practices for local, regional and global organizing. We are deepening friendships and fostering solidarity.

A URI global support network comprised of global staff and regional teams connect CCs and support their work. Cooperation Circle members elect Global Council Trustees. The Trustees and global staff work together to sustain local Cooperation Circle membership groups, provide communication links, and develop URI through interfaith partnerships.