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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Introduction

The Religious Youth Service is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to give opportunities to young religious people to live and work together as a community. The RYS has done projects in North America and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.


RYS is an experiential, service-learning project with a special focus on developing personal leadership and peacemaking skills. Through living and providing altruistic service within a community, we demonstrate that it is possible for our global human family to live together in peace and well-being.

It is also an opportunity for people to express and further deepen their faith, as well as share their best qualities. Through our program, many have expanded their understanding of themselves and others and become true "Youth Ambassadors for Peace".

The RYS is in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions.

RYS Education programs

The RYS provides intercultural, experiential, social service-learning opportunities for youth to challenge their limitations and thereby develop personal leadership abilities. We give participants a chance to take initiative and build relationships of cooperation, trust and friendship with people from diverse backgrounds.

Woven into the project schedules are a variety of cultural events, educational seminars and recreational activities that allow participants to experience the amazing cultures of the world firsthand.

Through these opportunities, participants can realize their potential, share their best qualities, and improve their capacity for reconciliation. After completing the RYS programs, participants can apply their enhanced leadership capabilities to develop sustainable, peace promoting activities with diverse people.  

RYS Vision Statement

Young leaders of all faiths serving together for Peace

RYS Mission

Our mission is to provide an environment wherein youth can rise above doctrinal differences, unite in activities of service and learning, and develop leadership abilities that enable them to help create a culture of peace.  

RYS History

The RYS was founded in 1986 by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and did its first social service project with 120 youths between the ages of 20 – 30 for a period of six weeks. By 1988, the program was transformed into an experiential, social service-learning project. Since 1990, RYS has done many projects annually in various countries around the world. By the late 1990s, RYS expanded its educational program to include leadership components. The new millennium saw an integration of the arts as service into our programs and projects. 

In recent years, we have further expanded our outreach, doing more projects locally, regionally and internationally, drawing together people who historically have been enemies and providing them with opportunities to work together in serving the whole community. Through this, deep friendships have been formed and peace has been honored and celebrated.


"Young Leaders of all Faiths Serving Together for Peace"


Our mission is to provide an environment wherein youth can rise above doctrinal differences, unite in activities of service and learning, and develop leadership abilities that enable them to help create a culture of peace.


  1. Provide youth from diverse cultures and faiths with alternatives to violence.
  2. Offer service opportunities which allow the breakdown of barriers, foster altruism, facilitate friendship and build community.
  3. Develop and apply best practice models of leadership, human cooperation and relationship.
  4. Increase effective leadership abilities, learned by experience. 
  5. Create settings wherein intercultural experiences can occur.
  6. Give opportunities to express and share spirituality and/or religious traditions with others.  
  7. Provide occasions to hear from community and religious leaders, and explore the peace building characteristics of their cultures.
  8. Encourage meaningful interaction, allowing insights from interaction immediately to be applied to promoting peace.
  9. Cultivate learning by reflection.
  10. Assure succession, replication and expansion of RYS human capital through education and training.

Core Values

  • People Centered and Participant Driven
  • Growth and Development
  • Friendship and Collaboration
  • Maximum Diversity and Impartiality

RYS is a project of the Universal Peace Federation

If you find this page helpful and informative please consider making donation. Your donation will help Universal Peace Federation (UPF) provide new and improved reports, analysis and publications to you and everyone around the world.

UPF is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and all donations are tax deductible in the United States. Receipts are automatically provided for donations of or above $250.00.

Donate to the Universal Peace Federation: Your donation to support the general programs of UPF.

Donate to the Religious Youth Service (RYS): Your donation will be used for service projects around the world.

Donate to UPF's Africa Projects: Your donation will be used for projects in Africa.