2023_05_18_Centrist Democrat International Resolution on the R20

World’s largest political network endorses the G20 Religion Forum:

“[T]he R20 functions as an inclusive, cross-cultural platform designed to infuse the world’s political and economic power structures with moral and spiritual values”

BLED, Slovenia — On 18 May 2023, the world’s largest political network, Centrist Democrat International (CDI) — which has 109 member parties in 83 countries — unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the G20 Religion Forum (R20) at its General Assembly, held in close proximity to the Church of the Assumption of Mary (photo above), an ancient pilgrimage site that lies at the heart of Slovenian identity.

The resolution, submitted by Indonesia’s National Awakening Party (PKB), “calls upon [CDI] member parties, and all G20 Member States, to cooperate in securing recognition of the R20 as a permanent G20 Engagement Group,” “as a means of providing a seat at the G20 table for religious communities and their leaders.”

As the resolution points out, “religious believers constitute the single largest demographic within the human family, whose share of the global population is estimated to exceed 80%.” Continue reading full communiqué. . . 

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2023_02_13_Doctor Honoris Causa

Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot,
MCCJ Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue at the Holy See:
“I am deeply touched to be the first Roman Catholic Cardinal ever to receive an honorary doctorate from an Islamic University”
KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf,
Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board:
“All my activism under the flag of Nahdlatul Ulama — both domestically and internationally — bears the theme of this struggle for the wellbeing of all humanity and the future of human civilization”

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — On 13 February 2023, Pope Francis’ personal emissary for interreligious dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, joined Nahdlatul Ulama Chairman KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf and former Muhammadiyah Chairman Dr. Sudibyo Markus in a ceremony at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, where the three religious leaders were awarded honorary doctorates for “Fostering Global Peace, Human Fraternity, and Unity in Diversity.”

Broadcast live and heavily covered by Indonesian mass media, the ceremony was attended by a wide range of dignitaries, including religious leaders, academics, and senior officials from both the Vatican and the government of popular two-term Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Continue reading full communiqué. . . 

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2023_04_21_In the Black Hole

Pakistani nuclear scientist and human rights activist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, hosts in-depth public discussion of Nahdlatul Ulama’s agenda

“Past proponents of reform in Islam were individual thinkers, maybe small groups of thinkers. They were not organisations with the kind of power that Nahdlatul Ulama represents.”

The following text and transcript appear courtesy of Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Dr. James M. Dorsey:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan / 21 April 2023 — Pakistan ranks high on the list of Muslim-majority countries in which significant segments of the population are, in religious terms, militantly ultra-conservative. It’s a country where the impact of decades of Saudi funding of ultra-conservative religious thinking has left deep inroads.

It’s also a country in which numerous people over the years have been killed or lynched by outraged individuals or mobs over allegations of blasphemy, or for expressing opposition to harsh laws that mandate the death sentence for blasphemy. Since 1990, more than 80 people have been killed in such violence. This month, a Chinese national was remanded in custody after protesters accused him of blasphemy. Continue reading full communiqué. . . 

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  1. We, religious leaders from G20 Member States and elsewhere throughout the world, are deeply concerned by global challenges such as environmental degradation, natural and man-made disasters, poverty, unemployment, displaced persons, extremism, and terrorism. Effectively responding to these challenges has been rendered more difficult by rivalry between and among major powers and the resurgence of identity-based conflict worldwide, which threatens both domestic and international peace and security, as well as by the erosion of public commitment to ethical and spiritual values that are essential to the wellbeing of individuals and societies.
  2. In response to these challenges, we have gathered in Bali, Indonesia, for the first G20 Religion Forum (R20) on 2 ­– 3 November, 2022, co-chaired by Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf and H.E. Shaykh Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.
  3. The R20 seeks to promote mutual understanding, a culture of peace, and harmonious co-existence among the world’s diverse peoples, religions, and nations. In pursuit of this objective, the R20 is mobilizing religious, social, economic, and political leaders from throughout the world to ensure that religion functions as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions, rather than problems.
  4. The R20 welcomes and appreciates constructive endeavors to achieve the aforementioned goals, including but not limited to:
  1. The establishment, in June 2021, of the “Center for Shared Civilizational Values” by Nahdlatul Ulama spiritual leaders, including the Founding Chairman of the R20 and General Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf; and
  2. The “Forum for Building Bridges Between East and West” and the 2019 “Makkah Charter,” initiatives established by the Muslim World League under the leadership of H.E. Shaykh Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, in order to foster mutual understanding, peaceful co-existence, and harmony among the world’s diverse peoples, cultures, and nations.
  1. Therefore, the R20 calls upon religious and political leaders and people of goodwill of every faith and nation to join in building a global alliance founded upon shared civilizational values.
  1. The R20, through this global alliance, seeks to:
  1. develop and implement concrete initiatives that will build bridges between nations and civilizations;
  2. encourage honest and realistic conversation within and between religious communities, in order to ensure that religion functions as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions, rather than problems;
  3. infuse the world’s social, political, and economic power structures  with moral and spiritual values;
  4. prevent the political weaponization of identity;
  5. curtail the spread of communal hatred;
  6. promote solidarity and respect among the diverse peoples, cultures, and nations of the world;
  7. safeguard human beings from violence and suffering precipitated by conflict;
  8. call upon the world to actively assist those who are suffering the consequences of such violence;
  9. harness the wisdom of spiritual ecology embedded within the world’s religious traditions to ensure respect for, and preservation of, the natural environment, including the elements of earth, air, and water;
  10. foster the emergence of a truly just and harmonious world order, founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being; and
  11. secure recognition of the R20 as an official G20 Engagement Group.
  1. Having launched the R20 under the 2022 Indonesian Presidency of the G20, we look forward to India’s Presidency of the G20 in 2023.