R20, global change and transformation of religions – Academia
Ahmad Suaedy (The Jakarta Post)
Tue, November 1, 2022
Hundreds of religious and cult leaders attending the Religion Twenty (R20) forum in Bali this week will bring religions back into the public domain and join global efforts to address global humanitarian issues including poverty, socio-political polarization, COVID -19 and Russia in progress. Ukrainian war.
R20, a forum for leaders of religions and sects organized to seize the momentum inspired by the Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit, will be themed “Revealing and nurturing religion as a source of global solutions: an international movement for sharing moral and spiritual values.” More than 300 religious and sect leaders from around the world, including Indonesia, will participate in the November 2-3 event.
Yahya Cholil Staquf, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, which launched the R20 forum with Rabithah Alam Islami (the Muslim World League), based in Saudi Arabia, envisioned the R20 as a global movement — not just an event — that puts religions in the public domain to help solve global problems.
Religions in many countries have been reduced to a private matter and even prevented from entering into public affairs. On the other hand, in some countries, religions would only be necessary to give legitimacy to certain opinions and decisions taken outside of religions.
Yahya, better known as Gus Yahya, proposed that religions join global efforts to solve global problems. This suggestion is in fact consistent with many analyzes in international publications and global diplomacy that recognize the growing role that religions play in the public domain as something inevitable.
The majority of opinions, however, are reluctant to give religions a place in the public domain simply because religions have their own problems. Many are still traumatized by the ghost of the medieval age in Europe, when religions acted as a source of legitimacy for the power to oppress and engage in protracted wars on behalf of religions.
Responding to concerns, Gus Yahya proposed that religions be true to themselves and acknowledge fundamental issues within religions that have been left out of discussions among religious leaders. One of the issues in question is the doctrine of truth and religious claims, which are often not discussed with others.
It is this doctrine and claim that often breeds tension, conflict and polarization, as well as violence and war. Whenever tensions and crises erupt, religion emerges as a latent potential for division and tension, violence and war. Now is the time for religion to honestly admit its own reality and come to grips with it once and for all.
Religion must reflect on itself and solve the problem by looking beyond exclusive doctrines, then building consensus and sharing common values. Unlike the universal values of secularism and liberalism, which demand universal uniformity, consensus and the sharing of common religious values respect each other’s traditions and beliefs.
To quote the late Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, the fourth president of Indonesia and former president of NU, if religion is to transform society, then religion must first transform itself, so that there is no no more difference between humanitarian and spiritual values. Religion cannot impose its own idealism without taking social reality into account.
The religious transformation in question, for Gus Yahya, is the elimination of religious doctrine in politics, which is the basis of discrimination and violence against “others”. Islamic political doctrine fiqh siyasahfor example, must be built on the framework of universal equality of human beings and citizens based on global consensus.
Religions in the public domain and in the political sphere must uphold the values of equality and universal justice.
The removal of murtad (apostasy) and kafir The (infidel) doctrines for each religion, for example, must start from the conscience of the religion itself and not because it follows the imposition of secular universal values that are anti-religious.
Therefore, in this R20 forum, every religious and sect leader will be guided to impart their ideas on universal values based on good religious traditions and spirituality and eradicate bad doctrines and traditions that have been built up over years or even centuries. .
NU showed its pioneering role by prohibiting its followers from referring to non-Muslims as kafir but human beings (al insan) and citizens (al-muwathin). Such a decision was taken at the second most important forum within NU, namely the 2019 National Council of Ulema meeting in Banjar Patoman, West Java.
Thus, NU, with its own scientific and methodological basis, has developed fiqh siyasah (governance) within the framework of the Indonesian nation-state based on the five pillars of Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity).
There are no one-size-fits-all concepts and doctrines, but the momentum that has built up at R20 should turn into a dominant global phenomenon in the days to come.
The writer is chairman of the R20 organizing committee.