America is the most religiously diverse nation in the world. There are well over two thousand distinct religious groups in the United States, and the number continues to grow. Richmond, Virginia has played a key role in the emergence of this contemporary religious diversity. It was Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted in 1779 and enacted in 1786, that became part of Virginia’s constitution and the basis for the religious freedom clauses in the U.S. Constitution.

There are currently well over eight hundred religious congregational units in the Richmond metropolitan area representing many of the world’s major religious traditions. This website provides a listing of each of these religious congregations by faith tradition. This listing incorporates an overview of the distinctive history and doctrines of each tradition, information on the development of each tradition in Virginia and in Richmond, and profiles of selected religious congregations. In addition, the project documents how religious congregations representing many faith traditions individually and collectively impact the Richmond community. There are schools and colleges, hospitals and retirement communities, charitable foundations, camps and retreats, bookstores and businesses, aid and relief organizations, interfaith groups, foreign and domestic missions, radio and television programs, musical groups, and public festivals connected in some way to religious traditions located in Richmond. The activities of these various groups are a vital part of the Richmond community.

TheWorld Religions in Richmond Project, sponsored by the Religious Studies Program in the School of World Studies, has as its objective chronicling the religious diversity that exists in the Richmond community. In order for each member of a diverse community to have a voice in public life and for all groups to exist in harmony with one another, we must have sufficient basic understanding of one another to permit constructive civic discourse. This website is dedicated to contributing to such an understanding and to the proposition that each of the many religious traditions to be found in Richmond tells us something about who we are as a community.

In 2011 the World Religions in Richmond Project affiliated with The Pluralism Project at Harvard University. Visitors can link to the World Religions in Richmond Affiliate Page or The Pluralism Project page here.