Religions for Peace USA gathers representatives from the religious communities in the U.S.; promotes multireligious cooperation for peace and justice; builds on the spiritual, human, and institutional resources of its communities; enhances mutual understanding; and acts for the common good.
A Thirty-Year Legacy
Religions for Peace USA began as an office within its parent organization, the World Conference of Religions for Peace (now, Religions for Peace International) in the early 1970’s. Although it was created solely to aid the work of the international organization, it steadily began developing its own programming along the lines of the international body. In 2000, the U.S. office decided to establish itself as an independent chapter: The United States Conference of Religions for Peace, in order to develop a mission that was more focused on U.S. initiatives. The organization’s name was changed again in 2004 to Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA), and a new mission and vision took hold. Today, RFPUSA’s official headquarters are in the Church Center for the United Nations, where the organization has worked side by side with its parent body since its establishment more than thirty years ago.
The governance of the organization is carried out by three bodies: the Council of Presidents, the Executive Council, and the Advisory Council, whose membership encompasses senior U.S. religious leadership, interreligious affairs officers and advocates, scholars, and issue based experts. Together these councils represent over sixty religious communities, making RFPUSA the most broadly based religiously representative organization in the country.
On a day-to-day basis, operations are handled by Executive Director Rev. Bud Heckman and Associate Director, Aaron Stauffer, as well as by a small staff of diverse young adults, interns, seminary field education placements, recent college graduates and volunteers.