Welcome to the G20 Religion Forum (R20)

Message from KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf
Founder & Chairman of the R20
General Chairman, Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board

“The purpose of the G20 Religion Forum, or R20, is to ensure that religion functions as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions rather than problems in the 21st century. Through the R20, we hope to facilitate the emergence of a global movement, in which people of goodwill of every faith and nation will help bring the world’s geopolitical and economic power structures into alignment with the highest moral and spiritual values, for the sake of all humanity.”

KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf addressing the R20 Summit in Bali on 2 November, 2022

“Welcome to Bali, the land of Hindus, in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.”

The Quest for Shared Civilizational Values

R20 Keynote Address by Professor Mary Ann Glendon

It must be admitted that the aspirations of the R20 are ambitious and the obstacles great. So it is to be expected that they will be dismissed by many as unrealistic — just as the aims of the post-World War II human rights project were dismissed by the so-called realists of that day. Yet the 20th century human rights project proved that ideals are real, as real as earth and water. And today, as this gathering shows, there are many men and women of good will who are ready to take up the challenge of making them real again.

To be sure, the path forward will be strewn with hazards and obstacles. But it’s worth remembering that the men and women who dreamed 75 years ago of an international order based on shared values were not naïve in their idealism. They had lived through two world wars and severe economic crises. After seeing human beings at their best and worst, they took encouragement from the fact that while the human race is capable of great evils, it is also capable of imagining that there are better ways to live, of articulating those shared values in declarations and constitutions, and of orienting their conduct toward the ethical norms they recognized….

Years from now, people not yet born will form opinions regarding our stewardship of the post-war generation’s legacy, which was founded upon idealism tempered by realism. They will pass judgment one day on whether we enhanced or squandered the inheritance handed down by men and women who once strove to bring a standard of right from the ashes of terrible wrongs. 

So I will close with profound gratitude for the decision to call this historic meeting in Bali — and with great anticipation for the results of our discussions!

Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, emerita, at Harvard University, and former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

“We are delighted with today’s historic and vital gathering, which brings together prominent religious leaders from across the world to launch a global initiative within the framework of the G20 Summit — the R20 platform, which has been adopted by the G20 Presidency this year to become the first Engagement Group for religions in the history of the G20.”

~ H.E. Shaykh Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League and Co-chair of the R20 Summit in Bali

View a short film about a 3-day R20 event held in Java, the birthplace of Nahdlatul Ulama:

“Yesterday we told all of our students that THIS is the jihad of today”

Briefing Document

~ Sri Ram Madhav Varanasi (India), civil society
leader and public intellectual

“I think the R20 has set in motion a tectonic force here
in Bali. From Bali it will go to India, from there to Brazil,
from there onwards to wherever G20 is held.”

R20 Handover Ceremony from Indonesia to India

Spiritual Ecology

Overview

Recontextualization/
Reform

~ Dr. James M. Dorsey, The Times of Israel

“From Nahdlatul Ulama’s perspective, jurisprudential reform of religious law is the key to positioning religion ‘as a source of solutions, not problems.’”

R20 Priorities

Christopher JT Cherrington, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons