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Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia

The Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia was founded in April 2006 in order to build relationships of mutual support, offer a moral and spiritual voice in the region, and identify issues of local concern for dialogue and action. Co-convened by Archbishop Nelsen Pérez, Rabbi David Straus, Imam Anwar Muhaimin, and Bishop Daniel Gutiérrez, the Council is the first of its kind in the city, with more than 30 member communities, representing more than two million people of diverse faith traditions from across the greater Philadelphia region.

Religious Leaders Council Members


Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez, Archdiocese of Philadelphia 
The Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutiérrez, Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania 
Imam Anwar Muhaimin - Quba Masjid
Rabbi David Straus - Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia 



Bishop Julius McAllister, African Methodist Episcopal Church 
Imam Mohamed Shehata, Al-Aqsa Islamic Society 
Kavneet Singh Pannu, American Sikh Council 

Bishop J. Louis Felton, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity
Rabbi Beth Janus, Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia 
Bishop Guy Glimp, Church of God in Christ
Rabbi Yosef Zarnighian, Congregation Mikveh Israel 
Bishop Peter Hwang, Council of Korean Churches of Greater Philadelphia 
Rabbi Eli Freedman, Delaware Valley Association of Reform Rabbis 
Bishop John Schol, Eastern Penn Conference, United Methodist Church

Dr. Gity Etemad, Greater Philadelphia Bahá’í Community 

The Very Rev. Archimandrite Avgoustinos Psomas, Greek Orthodox
Archdiocese of America
Rev. Luis Cortés, Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity 
Rev. Edward Livingston, Interfaith Philadelphia

Dr. Tahir Wyatt, Majlis Ash Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley 
Rev. Dr. Calenthia Dowdy, Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia 
Imam Muhammad Miller, Mosque of Shaikh M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
Rev. William Worley, Pennsylvania Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ 

Archbishop Mary Floyd Palmer, Philadelphia Council of Clergy
Rev. Terry Davis, Philadelphia Gospel Movement 
Dr. Wilson Goode, Philadelphia Leadership Foundation 
Christie Duncan-Tessmer, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, Presbytery of Philadelphia

Rabbi Abe Friedman, Rabbinical Assembly, Philadelphia Region 
Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Fr. Mina Mina, St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Delaware 
Lt. Colonel Larry Ashcraft, Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware 
Bishop Patricia Davenport, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ECLA 
President Kim McNaughton, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia 
Rev. Kevin Jagoe, Unitarian Universalist Association, Central Eastern Region 
Rev. Dr. Hojin Park, Won Institute of Graduate Studies


Interfaith Prayer Service of Mayor Cherelle Parker, February 20, 2024

On Tuesday, February 20, 2024, the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia held an interfaith prayer service for Mayor Cherell Parker and Members of Philadelphia City Council. More than 300 people were in attendance. The prayer service included scripture readings from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith traditions. Attendees recited a pledge written by the Religious Leaders Council entitled "A Call from People of Faith to Stop Violence." Participants also lighted candles to visually welcome the light of peace into our community.

Since its inception, the Council’s focus has been to identify ways in which its members’ communities can come together to address the city’s growing epidemic of violence, to appeal for the respect and dignity of all persons, and to invigorate our region's leaders to lift up those most in need of support and prayer.


Highlights of the Council’s work have included Interfaith Inaugural Prayer Gatherings for Mayors Michael Nutter and Jim Kenney, an Interfaith Memorial Prayer Service honoring the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and other interfaith gatherings during times of particular need in the city.

In these efforts, the Council has issued a jointly-created Pledge for Peace; a Call for Civility in Political Discourse; a letter re: 2022 Mass Shootings in the U.S.; public policy statements on the Murder of George FloydIllegal Possession of Guns, Immigration Reform, Anti-Islamic Advertising Campaign in Philadelphia, and the Syrian Refugee Crisis; and press releases following acts of hate and vandalism at a local mosque and Jewish cemetery.


Through its community-wide initiative, Zones of Peace, the Council has committed the resources of its congregations, members, and rich religious traditions to carrying through the mission of creating a Philadelphia region free from fear, filled with respect, and marked by deeds of kindness.

Signature Initiative: Zones of Peace

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Zones of Peace is a region-wide interfaith movement of churches, synagogues, mosques, other houses of worship, schools, and community-based organizations working to address the root causes of violence and make us safer in the communities where we live, work, and play. Zones of Peace recognizes organizations that are pioneering creative responses to violence and elevates their leadership.

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