Gottfried Locher elected new Chairman of Swiss Council of Religions

Gottfried Locher was unanimously elected to be the new Chairman of the Swiss Council of Religions. The President of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches succeeds Hisham Maizar, who passed away in May. Montassar BenMrad of the Federation of Islamic Umbrella Organizations was elected Vice Chairman.

“On the Council of Religions, we work together to promote a peaceful Switzerland,” Gottfried Locher emphasized. “Our country is changing, and the religious landscape with it. Many people are unsettled by these changes. To address difficult issues openly and honestly: this is what the Council of Religions stands for.”

Communicating and debating with others helps us to understand and express our own faith. “Honest dialogue opens people’s minds, enabling them to keep the peace despite differences in opinion,” the FSPC President adds. In many regions of the world, the urgent necessity to promote religious peace is woefully apparent.

Gottfried Locher commemorated Hisham Maizar’s legacy.  For many years, the former President of the Federation of Islamic Umbrella Organizations of Switzerland, who recently passed away, had advocated for unity among the Muslims of Switzerland and to make their voice heard in the Swiss Council of Religions. “I am looking forward to working with his successor, Dr. BenMrad,” Gottfried Locher said.

The Swiss Council of Religions is working to promote religious peace in Switzerland and facilitates communication among religious community leaders. It consists of the heads of the three national Christian churches, the Jewish community, the Christian-Orthodox community and Islamic organizations. The Swiss Council of Religions, which also serves as a point of contact for the Federal Council and administrative authorities, was founded in 2006 following a suggestion by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches.