History

Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace, since 1970, by working to advance multi-religious consensus on positive aspects of peace as well as concrete actions to stop war, help eliminate extreme poverty and protect the earth.

The origins of Religions for Peace date to 1961, when a handful of senior leaders from the world’s major faith traditions began to explore the possibility of organizing a “religious summit.” They felt the urgent need for believers around the world to take action toward achieving world peace. Religions for Peace convened for the first time in Kyoto, Japan, from 16 to 21 October 1970. For more than forty years, Religions for Peace has continued to bring together people of faith to cooperate for peace.

Today, more than six billion people identify themselves as members of religious communities. These existing social networks reach from the smallest villages to national capitals and beyond. Religions for Peace uses these existing structures to advance common action for peace. It recognizes that religious communities should be the main agents of multi-religious cooperation. Thus, Religions for Peace engages religious communities through their own representatives in the work of building RfP affiliated structures on every levellocal, national, regional and global and advances its vision of “The world’s religious communities cooperate effectively for Peace” through its global network.

The Religions for Peace network consists of a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world, six inter-religious regional councils, and ninety national councils, the Global Women of Faith Network, and the Global Interfaith Youth Network.