Religions for Peace

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Religions for Peace
Type Non-governmental organization (NGO)
Headquarters 777 United Nations Plaza, 9th Floor New York, NY 10017
Over 72 countries
Secretary General
William F. Vendley

Religions for Peace is the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s religions dedicated to promoting peace founded in 1970.[1]

International Secretariat headquarters is in New York City, with Regional Conferences in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and the Americas with more than 90 affiliates at the national level, and a number of local units. Religions for Peace enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with UNESCO and with UNICEF. William F. Vendley is its Secretary General.

This non-governmental organization (NGO) serves on all continents representing 90 countries; it networks with World Council of senior religious leaders while respecting religious differences, common humanity and the influence of peace within every religion.[2] This organization has created inter-religious partnerships to confront most dire issues such as stopping war, ending poverty and protecting the earth. Religions for Peace was founded in 1970 and supported by various foundations, governments, intergovernmental organizations, religious communities, religiously affiliated development agencies and individuals.[3]


Religions for Peace convened for the first time in Kyoto, Japan, on 16–21 October 1970. However, the origins of Religions for Peace date to 1961, when a handful of senior leaders from the world's major faith traditions began exploring the possibilities for organizing a "religious summit" to address the need for believers around the world to take action toward achieving peace.[4] Its priority is to engage religious communities on the national and regional levels: the International Secretariat in New York, Regional Conferences in Europe and Asia, more than 90 affiliates at the national level, and a number of local units. Religions for Peace enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with UNESCO, and with UNICEF.

In 2015, the Tunisian politician Meherzia Labidi Maïza served as the honorary President of Religions for Peace.[5]

World Assemblies[edit]

The first World Conference was convened in Kyoto, Japan, on 16–21 October 1970, the second World Assembly was held in Leuven, Belgium in 1974, the third in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, the fourth in Nairobi, Kenya in 1984, the fifth in Melbourne, Australia in 1989, the sixth in Riva del Garda, Italy in 1994, the seventh in Amman, Jordan in 1999, the eighth in Kyoto, Japan in 2006[6] and the ninth World Assembly in Vienna, Austria.


Women of Faith Network[edit]

Religions for Peace recognizes that women of faith around the world have enormous capacities for leadership and effective action in all areas of human development.

Global Interfaith Youth Network[edit]

Religions for Peace Global Interfaith Youth Network (GIYN) harnesses the energy and commitment of religious youth leaders all over the world to advance the mission of multi-religious cooperation for peace. Representative of the world’s major religions across six regions - Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North America –GIYN builds peace by working to transform violent conflict, promote just and harmonious societies, advance development, and protect the earth. GIYN seeks to advance its work by mobilizing the power of religious youth, building strategic partnerships with the United Nations, inter-governmental institutions, and civil society organization, and implementing action programs through national and regional inter-religious youth networks. Concurrently, the youth are working to mainstream youth and youth issues into Religions for Peace programming activities at the local, regional and global level. GIYN is divided into six regional interfaith youth networks:

GIYN is led by the International Youth Committee (IYC), composed of fifteen IYC members representing the world's faith traditions from the six regional interfaith youth networks. The present IYC was elected at the Religions for Peace VIII World Assembly in Kyoto, Japan in August 2006. The IYC is led by its Youth Coordinator, Ms. Stellamaris Mulaeh, who is actively engaged in grassroots multi-religious youth-led peace building in Kenya. As a global agent, the IYC is mindful to choose a location where impacts of their meeting include bringing awareness to the conflict, or initiations of service projects in the location.


External links[edit]