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Barbara Hartford, a spokeswoman for URI, denied that the group’s intent is to forge a one-world religion.

“That just isn’t true,” she said. “Our first principle says we’re a bridge-building organization, not a religion.”

There’s a huge grass-roots movement among religions worldwide to work together, she said, which is why the interfaith movement has captured the imaginations of so many.

“It is the one thing that’s wanted and needed,” she added. “Wherever we go in the world, religion and spirituality play a huge place in 95 percent of the people’s lives.”