Religious Leaders Council
Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia
The Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia was founded in Spring 2006 to build relationships of mutual support, offer a moral and spiritual voice in the region, and identify issues of concern for dialogue and action. Co-convened by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Rabbi David Straus, Imam Anwar Muhaimin, and Bishop Claire Schenot Burkat, the Council is the first of its kind in the city, with more than 25 member communities, representing more than two million people of diverse faith traditions from across the greater Philadelphia region.
Highlights of the Council’s work have included interfaith inaugural services for Mayor Michael Nutter, an Interfaith Memorial Prayer Service honoring the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and several other interfaith prayer services during times of particular need in the city. Most recently, the Council’s priority focus has been to identify ways in which its members’ communities can come together to address the city’s growing epidemic of violence, issuing a jointly-created Pledge for Peace and public policy Statement on Illegal Posession of Guns. In launching its first community-wide initiative, Zones of Peace, the Council has committed the resources of its congregations, members, and rich religious traditions to imagining our region as a zone of peace, free from fear, filled with respect, and marked by deeds of kindness.
“At an anniversary like this it is a deeply spiritual and human instinct that brings us together, just as ten years ago so many of us, on hearing the news of that day, sought each other out, gathering in houses of worship and public places, just so we could be together. It is at times like these that we remember how much we need each other.” -Arthur Larrabee, General Secretary of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends at the Prayer Gathering on September 11, 2011
Religious Leaders Council’s Signature Initiative
- The Religious Leaders Council Mourns with Newtown Connecticut and Calls for Action
- Religion & Politics Community Event: October 17th
- The Interfaith Center Mourns with the Sikh Community
- Religious Leaders- A Letter to the Sikh Community
- “We look to ourselves, our religious institutions and all people of faith to seek ways to diminish violence brought on by illegal sale, illegal possession and illegal use of firearms and to take active roles in ending gun violence.”Read the Council’s Official Statement on Illegal Possession of Guns
- Religious Leaders Council Hosts Interfaith Inaugural Prayer Gathering for Mayor Michael Nutter & The City of Philadelphia
- Religious Leaders Council Commemorates 9/11
- Religious Leaders Council compiles resources for congregations at the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
- Council Members are featured on NBC 10 Faith & Religion After 9/11
Highlights from the Council
Watch a video about the Zones of Peace pilot program.
In the news…
- Religious Leaders Council Co-Sponsors Memorial Servicein Remembrance of Szablcs Prem and Dora Schwendtner “Tears, Wreaths on the Water at Riverside Memorial.” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2010.
- “Religious Leaders Council Plans Zones For Peace.“ The Bulletin, March 23, 2009.
- “Nutter Leads Pledge for Peace in City”. The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 4, 2008.
Religious Leaders Council Statements
- A Call for Civility in Political Discourse, Adopted September 2012
- Statement on Illegal Possession of Guns, Adopted in March 2012
For More Information
- Members of the Religious Leaders Council
- Religious Leaders Council Info Sheet
- A Call from People of Faith to Stop Violence (in Spanish) (in Arabic)
- View photos of the life and work of the Religious Leaders Council
- Contact Rev. Nicole D. Diroff to learn more about the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia.
- Join the Religious Leaders Council in creating a violence-free Greater Philadelphia by nominating a Zones of Peace community.