Interfaith Council

The Interfaith Council for the City of Graz was established in 2006 and consists of representatives of religious communities recognised by the government.  As a consultative body it is convened by the mayor and formulates common positions on important dialogue issues concerning peaceful coexistence when needed.

The Interfaith Council has its main office at the Afro-Asian Institute Graz and Lisa Weichsler is responsible for its coordination. Meetings are taking place four times a year and when needed, their content is confidential. The members of the Council are in contact via the main office or informally with each other.

The members of the Interfaith Council are high-ranking representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, Old Catholic Church, Protestant Church, Evangelical Methodist Church, Greek Orthodox Church as well as Coptic Orthodox Church, Islamic Religious Community, Austrian Buddhist Union, Jewish Community Graz, the Bahá’í Community, Alevi Community Austria and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The Interfaith Council has a purely advisory role and is no working body. Therefore it has no statutes, by-laws, no president, no budget and no fixed agenda. The Interfaith Council plans annual community projects, e.g. an interfaith contribution to the Night of Churches, Interfaith Mountain Prayer, sporting events, network meetings, interfaith workshops and city walks, to raise awareness of religious diversity in Graz.

The aim of the Interfaith Council is to bring shared issues of the religious communities to the attention of the City of Graz as well as being an advisory, networking and mediation institution.

Members of the Interfaith Council

Mayor Mag. Siegfried Nagl The City of Graz
Reserve: Mag. Hans Putzer The City of Graz
Provost Mag. Christian Leibnitz The Catholic Church in Styria
Reserve: Mag. Waltraud Hamah Said The Catholic Church in Styria
Reverend Rafael Abona The Coptic Orthodox Church in Graz
Reserve: DI Amir Istfanous The Coptic Orthodox Church in Graz
Inge Margareta Brenner The Austrian Buddhist Union
Mag. Franz Handler The Old Catholic Church in Graz
Reserve: Ines Tobisch The Old Catholic Church in Graz
President Kultusrat MMag. Elie Rosen The Jewish Community in Graz
Ing. Michael Korak The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
FI Ali Kurtgöz The Islamic Religious Community in Styria
Reserve: Mag. Bassem Asker The Islamic Religious Community in Styria
Univ. Prof. Dr. Grigorios Larentzakis The Greek Orthodox Church
Reserve: Protopope Dimitros Makris The Greek Orthodox Church
Superintendent Mag. Wolfgang Rehner The Evangelical Church in Styria
Lay minister Frank Moritz-Jauk The Evangelical Methodist Church
Reserve: Usha Sundaresan The Evangelical Methodist Church
Neysan Rohani The Bahá’í Community
Reserve: Nadine Reyhani The Bahá’í Community
VI Hülya Bolat ALEVI – Alevi Community Austria
Dr. Christoph Ritter Free church/evangelical alliance
Pastor Bruno Gasper Free church/evangelical alliance
Lisa Weichsler AAI Graz – ComUnitySpirit – coordination

(As of January 2019)