Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) was an autonomous, North American youth organization affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). LRY was unique as a church youth group in that it was governed by its members, who were generally between the ages of fourteen and nineteen years old, with adults serving only in an advisory capacity. Though partial funding and office space were provided by the UUA, primary funding was through an independent endowment, the investment of which was controlled by the LRY board of directors.
LRY was founded in 1954, before the official merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America in 1961, and has roots going back both to the Unitarian Young People's Religious Union, organized in 1896, and the Universalist Young People's Christian Union, founded in 1898.
In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, LRYers were seriously involved in the counterculture, civil rights and anti-war movements. At times these radical activities were sanctioned by their elders in the church, but at other times they were condemned. In the 1980s, these activities continued but, along with the rest of the country, the leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was becoming more conservative, and relations between the leaders of LRY and the UUA became progressively more strained.
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