It is with profound sadness that we inform you that our beloved member The Honorable Mehrézia Labidi-Maiza (“Zia”) passed away on 21 January 2021 in her home in Paris. 

Since 2006 she was Chair of the Global Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network, since 2009 Labidi-Maïza was a member of the European Council of religious leaders and since 2015, she served as the honorary president of the World Council of Religions for Peace. She was a hugely cherished member of the Religions for Peace global movement.

In November 2011, Honorable Labidi-Maiza became the first Vice-President of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly and played a key role in the development of the country’s constitution. She was described as the “senior-most elected woman in the Middle East.”

In her testimonial, Honorable Labidi-Maiza said: “My role as the global coordinator of the Religions for Peace International Women of Faiths Network prepared and equipped me to be a mediator, reconciler and facilitator in the multi-party dialogue and negotiation process of developing the country’s constitution. I am so honored to be part of the Religions for Peace’s rich history and profound mission.”

As a woman of faith, a politician, and a champion of multi-religious collaboration for peace, the life of “Zia” was an inspiration to many of us, as was her energy, passion and warmth.

“I remember her many years of leadership in Religions for Peace and the European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL). As a Muslim woman of deep faith, she spoke words of spiritual wisdom and moral conviction to us and to political leaders worldwide. Her presence among us was a blessing.” Bishop Gunnar

“Meherzia was a charismatic and warm personality. Rooted in her Muslim tradition, she was open and interested in working with people of all traditions. Zia stood up for her convictions with charming friendliness and inner strength. She encouraged the solidarity of women in our joint efforts for equal rights and respectful coexistence. When I was in Tunisia, it was clear to me the great appreciation she was met with for her political commitment to fundamental rights in the new Tunisian constitution.” Rev. Dr. Thomas Wipf, President of ECRL

May her loved ones be comforted,

May she rest in eternal peace;

On behalf of the European Council of Religious Leaders, Religions for Peace