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Peace Councilors

The Peace Councilors are persons who have earned the respect of their faith communities for how they live and what they do. Committed to finding practical ways to promote peace and to relieve suffering, the Peace Councilors try to show by example that diverse faiths can work together "for the common needs of the whole community of life." They determine the policy and programs of the Peace Council and participate personally in its activities.

Swami Agnivesh 1939–2020

Hindu monk and president of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement. Chair, United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery; founder-head of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front. General-Secretary, Arya Sabha. Recipient of the Anti-Slavery International Award (London, 1990) and Freedom and Human Rights Award (Berne, 1994). In 2004 he received the Right Livelihood Award for his "strong commitment and cooperation over many years to promote the values of co-existence, tolerance and understanding in India and the countries of South Asia."

Links: > Swami Agnivesh > Anti-Slavery International (U.K) > United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

Dr. Hizkias Assefa

Founder and Head, African Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Network (Nairobi, Kenya). Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University (Fairfax, VA, USA). Professor, Institute of Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA, USA). He has two decades of experience leading mediation and peacebuilding efforts in more than 25 African and Asian nations, and for the United Nations.

Dr. Dalil Boubakeur

Dr. Dalil Boubakeur

Rector of the Muslim Institute of the Grand Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman), the official voice of France's five million Muslims. France has the largest Muslim minority in Europe and Dr. Boubakeur is a well-known and effective voice for tolerance and reconciliation between Muslims, Christians, and Jews, especially in Europe, where anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence have escalated recently.

Links: > Institut Musulman de la Mosquée de Paris In the News: New York Times: "A Muslim in the Middle in France"

Dr. Elise Boulding

Dr. Elise Boulding

A long-time Quaker peace activist, lecturer, and networker, she was editor of a periodical newsletter providing news and networking opportunities to international peace teams. Formerly Secretary-General, International Peace Research Association. Formerly Professor of Sociology, Dartmouth College. Author of Cultures of Peace: the Hidden Side of History and other books.

Rev. Marcus Braybrooke

President, World Congress of Faiths; Co-founder, Three Faiths Forum (London). Patron, International Interfaith Centre (Oxford); Author, Faith and Interfaith in a Global Age, 1,000 World Prayers, and What We Can Learn from Islam, What We Can Learn from Hinduism, and other books. Formerly Executive Director of the Council for Christians and Jews in Great Britain. He also is the author of Pilgrimage of Hope, a definitive history of the interfaith movement.

Links: > International Interfaith Centre (Oxford, U.K.) > World Congress of Faiths (Oxford, U.K.)

H.H. Swami Chidananda Saraswati

H.H. Swami Chidananda Saraswati

One of Hinduism's most senior and most respected monks. President of the Divine Life Society (Rishikesh, India). His example and his teachings have been very helpful in lifting Hindu aspirations above the sectarian bigotry and violence of communalism in recent years.

Links: Divine Life Society

Sister Joan D. Chittister, OSB

Sr. Joan D. Chittister, OSB

She is a well-known author and activist in the areas of human rights; peace and justice; ecumenism; contemporary religious life; and women, church, and society. Co-Chair, Women's Global Peace Initiative. Formerly prioress, Benedictine Sisters, Mount St. Benedict, Erie, Pennsylvania. Formerly President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Author of Winds of Change: Women Challenge the Church and many other books.

Prof. Chung Hyun-Kyung

Professor of Ecumenics and World Christianity at Union Theological Seminary, New York, she is active in Christian women's movements in Asia. Formerly Professor of Systematic Theology at EWHA Women's University, Seoul, Korea. Author of Struggle to be the Sun Again and other books.

Links: Union Theological Seminary - faculty biographies.

H.H. Tenzin Gyatso the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Exiled spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetans and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 1989, "for his non-violent campaign to end China's domination of his country." Author of My Land and People and A Human Approach to World Peace and other books.

Links: Tibetan Government in Exile.

Ven. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni

Buddhist nun. Formerly Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Editor, Yasodhara: Newsletter on International Buddhist Women's Activities. Author of Thai Women in Buddhism. A scholar and an activist in social justice and women's issues in Asia.

Links: Thai Bhikkhunis In the News: Christian Science Monitor: "Bastion of Buddhism Faces Gender Debate"

Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda

Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda (1929 - 2007)

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism; co-founder of Inter-Religious Mission for Peace in Cambodia; author of Step by Step: Meditations on Wisdom and Compassion. His quiet bravery as the leader of "dharma-walks" through heavily-mined combat zones in Cambodia has brought hope to millions. Winner of the 1998 Niwano Peace Prize. Maha Ghosananda died on 12 March 2007: Obituary.

Rev. Gonzalo Bernabé Ituarte Verduzco, OP

Dominican friar and priest and Prior Provincial for Mexico. Formerly in charge of the Dominican Mission to Ocosingo (Chiapas, Mexico). Formerly Vicario Episcopal de Justicia y Paz, Diocesis de San Cristóbal de las Casas. Formerly Secretary to CONAI, the National Commision for Mediation.

Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO

Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO

Cistercian monk and former abbot of St. Joseph's Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts. Former president, Temple of Understanding; founder of Contemplative Outreach and the Snowmass Interfaith Conference; and former chair, Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. Author of numerous books and articles on Christian contemplative practice and on dialogue with other religions

Links: Snowmass Abbey (and Interfaith Conference) > Contemplative Outreach > Monastic Interreligious Dialogue.

Mrs. Mairead Maguire

Northern Irish peace activist. Co-founder and honorary president of the Community of the Peace People. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1976, jointly with her co-worker, Betty Williams, for their "courageous unselfish acts for peace that proved an inspiration for thousands; that lit a light in the darkness..." Together with Ciaran McKeown they were the co-founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement. Recipient of the Norwegian Peoples Peace Prize, 1976.

Links: Community of the Peace People

Dr. Saleha S. Mahmood Abedin

Director, Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (London). Editor, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (Oxford). Professor of Sociology, Director of General Education and Founder, Dar Al-Hekma College (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). Chairperson, International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (Amman, Jordan).

Link: > Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

Imam W. Deen Mohammed (1933 - 2008)

Religious and moral leader of the Muslim American Community. He hosts a nationally syndicated television program and is an outspoken advocate of improved worldwide Muslim, Christian, and Jewish relations. He is a member of the World Supreme Council of Mosques and is an International President of the World Conference of Religion and Peace. Imam Mohammed died on September 9, 2008. Obituary

Links: Muslim Journal.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Advocate for human rights. President, International Movement for a Just World (Malaysia). Formerly Professor, Centre for Civilisational Dialogue, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Board of Directors, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (Belgium). Founder-president of Aliran (1977-1991; Malaysia). Author of Human Rights and the New World Order and other books.

Links: International Movement for a Just World.

Most Rev. Samuel Ruiz Garcia

Most Rev. Samuel Ruiz Garcia

Roman Catholic Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas), Mexico. He is known for his efforts to secure human rights in Central America and Mexico, especially among indigenous peoples, and for his service as peace mediator between the Indians of Chiapas and the Mexican government. President of SICSAL (International Secretariat for Solidarity "Oscar Arnulfo Romero") and founder of SERAPAZ, a Mexican NGO working for peace in Latin America. Winner of the Niwano Peace Prize, 2002.

Links: Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas. also: Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas; SIPAZ; SICSAL.

Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche

Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche

Tibetan monk and scholar. Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Formerly Chairman of the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies. Director of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Banaras, India.

Links: > Tibetan Government in Exile

H.E. Dr. L. M. Singhvi

H.E. Dr. L. M. Singhvi (1931-2007)

Jain and Indic scholar and leader. Member of Rajya Sabha (upper house, Parliament of India). Chair, Indian National Committee for Abolition of Death Penalty. Past President, Asian Human Rights Conference. Formerly High Commissioner (ambassador) of India to the United Kingdom. Author of the final version of the Jain Declaration on Nature.

Most Rev. Desmond M. Tutu

Formerly Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. Winner of the Nobel Prize, 1984, for his non-violent example as "a unifying leader in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa," and for his struggle "for racial equality as a human right." Formerly Chairperson, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa). Formerly Bishop of Johannesburg; and general secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

Links: Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman

Rabbi of a Reform Jewish congregation in Jerusalem called Kehilat Kol Haneshama. A leader of the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism and of Rabbis for Human Rights, his congregation is a model for inter-religious understanding, dialog, and healing in Jerusalem.

Links: Kehilat Kol Haneshama.

The symbols at the top of this page are the work of Lucien F. Cosijns ( They represent Buddhism, Baha'i, Indigenous Traditions, Christianity, Hinduisim, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, and Sikhism.

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Page Published: 01/08/2004 · Page Last Modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008
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