Who WE Are.

United Religions as an intergovernmental organization has its aim to provide a forum for the rapprochement of religions and cultural differences, the development of interfaith cooperation, mutual understanding between religions, and the cessation of religious violence; while providing a platform for intergovernmental interaction and conflict resolution beyond traditional diplomacy. United Religions brings together spiritual leaders and representatives of world religions to develop international cooperation and strengthen the values of justice, tolerance, peace and respect in society.

United Religions was founded and registered in Switzerland in 2018, with headquarters in Geneva. The initiative for its creation belongs to Mr. Akif Gilalov, head of the World Congress of Mountain Jews, founder and chairman of the Worlds Global Telecom, president of the ZAR group of companies.

The activities of the intergovernmental organization United Religions were supported by the world religious leaders: Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Secretary General of the Islam World League Dr. Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Chairman of the World Muslim Communities Council Dr. Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi and authoritative world-known rabbis during personal audiences with United Religions delegates.

Aims and objectives.

  1. to work together to prevent the practice of religious sentiments in igniting ethnic conflicts; extremism, spiritual ignorance and xenophobia.
  2. strengthening international peace and interfaith dialogue.
  3. achieving the goals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948 inter alia articles 2 and 18.
  4. developing practical methods of working together with the population.
  5. strengthening good, neighborly relations and partnership between religions.
  6. establishment of traditional ethic values as well as the ideals of unity and peace in the community.
  7. developing methods for effective resolution of existing conflicts that arise from ethnic and denominational antagonism.
  8. developing fruitful cooperation with state and public institutions, state authorities, public and religious institutions and the youth.
  9. preservation the world historic, creative heritage.
  10. developing humanitarian projects.
  11. uniting the spiritual leaders and representatives of world religions for mutual cooperation at the global level and establishment of the principles of fairness, tolerance, peace and respect in society.
  12. striving to develop and nurture the culture of peace and mutual understanding between religions.
  13. providing the platform for intergovernmental interaction and for conflict resolution beyond the traditional diplomacy.
  14. taking all appropriate measures to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems and depleted, threatened and endangered flora and fauna.
  15. undertaking appropriate measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution in accordance with the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment of 16 June 1972.

What WE Do.

What role does religion play in our modern world? What is our connection with our faith, with our heritage, and with our nationality? How do our religious beliefs affect how we see each other, what we think of outsiders, or what we think of those who think or pray differently than we do? It can’t be denied that some current events might give us reason to be pessimistic. Acts of violent extremism are attributed to certain groups, prejudices and xenophobia run rampant, there is misunderstanding and mislabeling everywhere. Some of us, under what seems like unbeatable odds, decide to do nothing. Then there are those of us who take action.

Mr. Akif Gilalov, head of the World Congress of Mountain Jews, founder and chairman of the Worlds Global Telecom, president of the ZAR group of companies, is one such person. As the head of the World Congress of Mountain Jews, he already had vast experience uniting people from different countries. Mountain Jews, also known as Caucus Jews, are Jews of the eastern northern Caucus, descendants of the original Persian Jews from Iran. The World Congress of Mountain Jews brings together mountain Jews from Israel, the USA, the Russian Federation, Canada, Azerbaijan, Germany, Austria, and Georgia, among other regions; people with a common religious background but from different places. This group is an excellent example of how religion makes connections among diverse peoples. But what about the possibility of stretching across a barrier many people believe is nsurmountable? What about joining forces with people belonging to different religions than one’s own?

Indeed, it is imperative that people recognize religion as a way to bring people together, rather than to tear people apart. The world needed an organization that provides a positive example of religions not just oexisting, but cooperating and collaborating. Mr. Gilalov has long believed in the importance of reaching across religion and culture to promote peace and mutual understanding. Thus, it was only a matter of time before United Religions came into being.

In November 2018, Mr. Gilalov met with Pope Francis in Vatican City to discuss the creation of an organization that would unite religious leaders and governments worldwide. Gilalov stated, “The idea (to call the heads of monotheistic religions for a council) has been floating around for some time because there is a tendency to see religious intolerance as a root of many conflicts all over the globe. By creating such an institution, we will show that religious beliefs have nothing to do with crimes against humanity.” The Pope wholeheartedly supported this initiative, stating at this event, “A Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots.” With the Pope supporting the initiative, United Religions had a powerful ally, and soon this new group started making big moves.

Strong first steps and a solid foundation have led to quick success for United Religions. Now, in 2020, United Religions is a recognized intergovernmental organization, whose headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization is very clear in stating its aims and its goals in cultivating mutual understanding among people of all religions, as well as supporting worldwide peace and interfaith exchanges. The organization wants to prevent and eradicate the behavior we see all too often, presently: religious ideals being used to spark ethnic conflict, extremism spreading in countries all over the globe, and xenophobia, which prevents humans from understanding and empathizing with people who are different from themselves.

United Religions aims to give governments a way to solve religious conflicts without having to resort to traditional diplomacy, which can often move too slowly, or be too tied up by bureaucracy to be effective. By uniting the spiritual leaders of various world religions, they hope to expand the potential for conflict resolution, for tolerance, for peace, and for respect among different countries, cultures, and faiths.

Furthermore, United Religions has other diverse goals and ideas for projects that will bring positive change. Besides acts which show cooperation among spiritual leaders and groups, they also wish to develop humanitarian projects, control pollution, and protect our delicate ecosystems and threatened natural environment. After all, we can’t work toward a more peaceful world without remembering the flora and fauna that might not have a voice to speak up for themselves. United Religions envisions a planet where people coexist peacefully with others and with nature.

The world is taking notice of this organization, and since its founding, it has seen an explosion of growth and recognition for its work. The aforementioned historic meeting with the Pope was covered in several news outlets by multiple faiths worldwide, from Catholics in New Zealand to Jews in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. In July 2019, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Dr. Mohammad Abdulkarim AlIssa, met with Mr. Gilalov (in his role as president of United Religions) to discuss shared interests and state their intent to collaborate further on future projects. On January 15th, 2020, Mr. Gilalov met with the UN Secretary General, His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, who endorsed the United Religions’ goals, giving support to their initiatives and showing confidence in the success of the group’s future projects.

One project that was tremendously successful took place recently. On January 20th, United Religions held a memorial ceremony dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day at the museum on the site of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This event was supported by the UN Secretary General, himself, who sent them a personal video message to commemorate the historic ceremony. Mr. Guterres said in the video that any initiative to bring religious leaders together, especially in this volatile political climate, is deeply meaningful. And meaningful it was.

For the first time in history, well-known leaders of Muslim communities visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, along with other representatives of world religions: Catholics, Christian Orthodox, and Jews. Such acts of unity among Christians, Jews, and Muslims show a crucial bond that connects these groups. A display of harmony among groups who some believe are at odds with one another is critical in showing that religious tolerance can overcome extremist beliefs.

So, what is United Religions up to now? What can we look forward to seeing from them in the future? Well, they are certainly not stopping any time soon. If anything, they are just getting started. They are about to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Muslim World League in which both groups express their desire for mutual collaboration and development of future humanitarian projects. This has the potential to lead to further treaties between United Religions and other Arab states, as well as create a working relationship, allowing joint activities and programs. They are also planning to promote intercultural education, which would provide children an opportunity to study different histories, religions, and cultures. An amazing way to ensure that our legacy has the knowledge and understanding to avoid the same mistakes we have made, and create a productive, tolerant, and peaceful future.


Mr. Akif Gilalov’s meeting with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Russia

Today, November 11, 2020, the first official trilateral meeting between the founder...

Mr. Akif Gilalov’s meeting with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Russia

Today, November 11, 2020, the first official trilateral meeting between the founder...

United Religions: Memorial ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, November 11, 2020, the first official trilateral meeting between the founder...

Historical meeting of the President of the United Religions, Mr. Akif Gilalov, with the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres (January 15, New York)

Today, November 11, 2020, the first official trilateral meeting between the founder...

The meeting between the Secretary General of the Muslim World League and the founder of the "United Religions"

On July 25th, a meeting was held in Moscow between the Secretary General of the...

Moscow, the UN House: Rountable discussion "Interreligious dialogue and the UN sustainable development goals"

July 8, Moscow, UN House: On July 8, 2019, at the initiative of the World Congress...

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International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust: UNESCO House, 22 January 2020

On January 20, 2020 the UNESCO Headquarters hosted the memorial evening, devoted...

The roundtable discussion in the UN information center in Moscow held by the WCMJ

July 8, Moscow, UN House: On July 8, 2019, at the initiative of the World Congress of...

Joint event at UN Headquarters, NYC

On December 13, 2018, the “United Religions” held a joint event with the World Congress...

The delegates of the WCMJ during private audience with Pope Francis

Pope Francis has endorsed and blessed a call of a council of the heads...

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