List of 21st-century religious leaders

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List of 20th-century religious leadersLists of religious leaders by century
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This is a list of the top-level leaders for religious groups with at least 50,000 adherents, and that led anytime since January 1, 2001. It should likewise only name leaders listed on other articles and lists.

Religious denomination identifiable religious subgroup with a common structure and doctrine

A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.



Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana Thai Buddhist monk

Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, né Charoen Khachawat and dharma name Suvaḍḍhano, was the 19th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. He was appointed to the position in 1989 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He turned 100 in October 2013, and died later the same month.

Ariyavongsagatanana (Amborn Ambaro) The Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism since 2017

Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana IX, born Amborn Prasatthapong, is the current Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. Ordained as a Bhikkhu monk in 1948 with the dharma name of Ambaro, he is a monk of the Dhammayuttika Nikaya order. In 2008 he was appointed abbot of Wat Ratchabophit in Bangkok. In 2017 he was appointed Supreme Patriarch by King Vajiralongkorn, succeeding Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana who died in 2013.



Pope John Paul II 264th Pope of the Catholic Church, saint

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.

Pope Benedict XVI 265th pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.

Pope Francis 266th and current pope

Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first to visit the Arabian Peninsula, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.

Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir Catholic cardinal

Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir was the patriarch of Lebanon's largest Christian body, the Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Holy See. He was also a cardinal. He was elected Patriarch of Antioch for the Maronites on 27 April 1986, and his resignation was accepted on 26 February 2011. He was the third Maronite cardinal and the 76th patriarch of the Maronite Church, with the official title of "His Beatitude and Eminence the 76th Patriarch of Antioch and the Whole Levant".

Bechara Boutros al-Rahi Maronite Patriarch of Antioch

Patriarch Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi is the 77th Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Maronite Church, a position he has held since 15 March 2011, succeeding Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir. Rahi was made a cardinal on 24 November 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

  • James Edward Bostwick, Archbishop (1997–2009)
  • Henry Pleau, Archbishop (2010–present)
  • Jerome Lloyd, Metropolitan Archbishop (2012–present)

Eastern Orthodoxy

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople autocephalous church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fourteen to sixteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople position

The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.

  • Peter VII, Patriarch of Alexandria (1997–2004)
  • Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria (2004–present)
  • Chrysostomos I, Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus (1977–2006)
  • Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus (2006–present)
  • Alexy II of Russia, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (1990–2008)
  • Kirill I, acting (2008–2009), Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (2009–Present)
  • John Rinne, Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland (1987–2001)
  • Leo Makkonen Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland (2001–present)

Oriental Orthodoxy



  • General Secretaries
  • Billy Kim, President (2000–2005)
  • David Coffey, President (2005–2010)
  • John Upton, President (2010–present)
  • Jan Lek, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Mateus Chaves, President (c. 2010)
  • Alexandre Melo Chilanda, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • President
  • Uche Enyioha, President (c. 2010)
  • General Secretary and CEO
  • S. T. Ola Akande, General Secretary
  • S. Ola Fadeji, General Secretary
  • Solomon Ademola Ishola, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Joyanto Adhikari, President (c. 2010)
  • Milton Biswas, General-Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Letta, Executive Secretary
  • Kooler, Executive Secretary
  • Augustus Spurgeon, Executive Secretary
  • Caleb Paw, Executive Secretary
  • Paul Htoo, Executive Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Monther Naum, Chairman (NA–2006)
  • Fuad Haddad, Chairman (2006–present)
  • Arleen D. Fidel, Chairman (2004–present)
  • Peter Tang, Executive Director (c. 2010)
  • O. Alem, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • T. Ch. Immanuel, President (2006–present)
  • M. Ashok Kumar, Secretary (2006–present)
  • Vumthang Sitlhou, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Rajani Kaipeng, General Secretary (c. 2010)
Europe, regional
  • Tony Peck, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Jimmy Martin, General Secretary (c. 2010)
Europe, national
  • Paul Negruţ, President (NA–2007)
  • Otniel Bunaciu, President (2007–present)
  • Borzási István, President (c. 2010)
  • Alexey V. Smirnov, President (2010–present)
United Kingdom
  • Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Alan Donaldson, General Director (c. 2010)
  • Peter M. Thomas, General Secretary (c. 2010)
North America
  • Jamey McDonald, Executive Director (c. 2010)
  • Gary Vincent Nelson, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Jan Paasuke, President of the Board (c. 2010)
  • Gerry Taillon, National Ministry Leader (c. 2010)
  • Roger Fellows, General Coordinator (2001–NA)
  • Mark Hudson, General Coordinator (c. 2010)
  • Roland Grimard, General Secretary (2003–present)
United States
  • Brooks Wicker, President (c. 2010)
  • A. Roy Medley, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • Gordon Taylor, Coordinator (2008–present)
  • Linzy Slayden, President (c. 2010)
  • Jerry Sheveland, President (c. 2010)
  • J. Brent Walker – Executive Director (1999–present)
  • John David Smith, Executive Director, (2010–present)
  • Cheryl Dudley, President, (2008–2011)
  • Stephen LeBar, Executive Director (2004–2009)
  • Stan Rieb, National Network Facilitator, (2009–present)
  • Daniel Vestal, Coordinator (1996–present)
  • Eugene Dickerson, Moderator (c. 2010)
  • Roger Ball, President (c. 2010)
  • John Vaughn, President (c. 2010)
  • James Murray, interim Executive Director (c. 2010)
  • John Greening, National Representative (c. 2010)
  • Stephen J. Thurston, President (c. 2010)
  • Samuel C. Tolbert, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • William J. Shaw, President (1999–2009)
  • Julius R. Scruggs, President (2009–2014)
  • Jerry Young, President (2014–present)
  • Rob McCleland, Executive Director (c. 2010)
  • Paul Hagen, General Superintendent (c. 2010)
  • Delmar Rogers, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • General Secretary
  • Walter Parrish III, General Secretary (c. 2010)
  • President
  • T. DeWitt Smith, Jr., President (NA–2010)
  • Carroll A. Baltimore, President (2010–2014)
  • James C. Perkins, President (2014–present)
  • Henry J. Rodmon, General Bishop (c. 2010)


  • Rodger Moyer, General Moderator (1987–present)
  • Timothy Lawton, General Moderator (2015–present)
  • David Rambo, President (c.1987–2005)
  • Gary Benedict, President (2005–2013)
  • Senior Bishop
  • Maurice D. Bingham, Senior Bishop, (1996–2004)
  • Emery Lindsay, Senior Bishop (2005–present)
  • President
  • Vernon Kennebrew, President (c.2005–present)


  • Steven P. Petersen, President (2008–2011):
  • Daniel Koelpin, President (2011–present)
  • Chairman
  • Ralph Mayan, Chairman (2005 –2008)
  • Gerald B. Kieschnick, Chairman (2009 –2010)
  • Hans-Jörg Voigt, Chairman (2010 –2012)
  • Executive Secretary
  • Samuel H. Nafzger, Executive Secretary (2001 or before – present)
  • Christian Krause (Germany), President (1997–2003)
  • Mark Hanson (US), President (2003–2010)
  • Munib Younan (Palestine), President (2010–present)
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia Church Abroad
North America
  • William Sullivan, National Service Coordinator (2002–2010)
  • Mark Vander Tuig, National Service Coordinator (2010–present)
  • Telmor Sartison, National Bishop (1993–2001)
  • Raymond Schultz, National Bishop (2001–2007)
  • Susan Johnson, National Bishop (2007–present)


  • Clement W. Fugh, General Secretary (2000–present)
  • Albert Chiew, Bishop (c.2008–2010)
  • James Kwang, Bishop (2010–present)
  • Nathaniel P. Lazaro, General Superintendent (2000–present)
  • Samuel Asante Antwi, President and Presiding Bishop (1997–2003)
  • Robert Aboagye-Mensah, Presiding Bishop (2003–2009) [4]
  • Emmanuel Asante, Presiding Bishop (2009–present)
  • Peter Chio, Bishop (?–2004)
  • Hwa Yung, Bishop (2004–present)
  • President
  • H Mvume Dandala, President (1998–2003)
  • Ivan M Abrahams, President (2003–present)
  • General Secretary
  • Vivian Harris, General Secretary (1988–2001)
  • Ross A J Olivier, General Secretary (2001–2005)
  • Vuyani G Nyobole, General Secretary (2005–present)
  • Gregory V. Palmer, President of the Council of Bishops (2008–2010)
  • Larry M. Goodpaster, President of the Council of Bishops (2010–2012)
  • Rosemarie Wenner, President of the Council of Bishops (2012–2014)
  • Warner Brown, President of the Council of Bishops (2014–present)


  • Rev K.E. Abraham, Founder (1924–1974)
  • Rev P.M. Samuel, First President (1935–1955)
  • Rev K.C. John, President (2006–present)


Other protestant

  • Purely Lyngdoh, Moderator
  • Enos Das Pradhan, General Secretary
  • S. Vasanthakumar, Moderator
  • President
  • General Secretary


Provinces of the Anglican Communion

  • Formal leadership –
  • George L.W. Werner, President of the House of Deputies (2000–present)

Continuing Anglicanism

  • Robert Morse, Bishop Ordinary (1977–2007)
  • James E. Provence, Bishop (2007–present)
  • William Millsaps, Presiding Bishop (2000–2005)
  • Council Nedd II, Presiding Bishop (2005–present)
  • Frank J. Retief, Presiding Bishop (2000–2010)
  • Desmond Inglesby, Presiding Bishop (2010–present)
  • Reginald Hammond, Presiding Bishop (2000–2004)
  • George Connor, Presiding Bishop (2006–present)
  • Julius A. Neeser, Bishop Ordinary (1998–2002)
  • David T. Hustwick, Bishop Ordinary (2002–present)
  • Robert Mercer, Bishop and Metropolitan (1988–2005)
  • Peter Wilkinson, Bishop and Metropolitan (2005–present)

Other Christian or Christian-derived faiths


Sunni Muslim


Nahdlatul Ulama







Nation of Islam

North America


Unitarian Universalism



See also

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  1. "OLD ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH". OLD ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  2. "Preacher, racer are two of a kind. Dallenbach brothers follow different roads that intersect with love". Denver Post. April 30, 1990. Retrieved 2007-07-21. It's quite a spin from Wally's life as a race-car driver to the Rev. Robert Dallenbach's small Pillar of Fire Church, where drinking, dancing and smoking are forbidden. While Wally directs Denver's Grand Prix races this August, his older brother likely will be a few blocks away, preaching at Alma Temple. The Reverend Bob wears a charcoal-gray suit and Roman collar. His 8-year-old, church-owned Ford station wagon bears license tag ... But things aren't always what they seem with the brothers Dallenbach ...
  3. "Somerset Christian College". Somerset Christian College. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  4. The Methodist Church Ghana (1835–2005): 170th Anniversary Souvenir Brochure. Accra, 2005
  5. "Colleen Geyer appointed General Secretary". Uniting Church in Australia. 14 July 2015. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.