Religions-20: A pioneering initiative in G-20 to build a God-centric value system

Source– The post is based on the article “Religions-20: A pioneering initiative in G-20 to build a God-centric value system” published in The Indian Express on 22nd October 2022.
Syllabus: GS3- International Relations
Relevance– Efforts for global peace and prosperity
News- The article explains the R-20 forum’s role in achieving a common value system for different faiths across the world to secure global peace and prosperity.

What are different perspectives about the existence of God?

One of the earliest arguments for the existence of God was by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm in 1078 AD. He argued that “there must be that thing, the greater than which cannot be conceived.

The conflicts over God led to the rise of Deism and atheism. Deism insisted on having God, but not religion.

Deists and Enlightenment thinkers wanted a universal God. Spinoza equated God with nature. Voltaire declared that If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

 What is the R-20 forum?

The mediaeval understanding of inconceivable God has been continued. It has promoted conflicts and loss of life. There is a need for spiritual guidance to promote the idea of common humanity.

Two important Muslim organisations from Asia want to take the lead in this effort by launching the R-20 forum on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. They are the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) of Indonesia and the Muslim World League (MWL) of Saudi Arabia.

Effort by Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, has led to the inclusion of R-20 in the G-20 agenda as the G-20 Forum of Religions this year.

Global issues like health, economy, climate and technology and war have been considered the concern of the political leadership. That religious and cultural leaders too can play a complementary role.

What is the objective of both NU and MWL?

They are working towards more humanitarian version of Islam. They rejects fundamentalism and radical interpretation of Islam. They call for building a universal consensus on “common principles of human values, tolerance and peace to immunise against the dangers of extremist ideology.

What can be the future scope of R-20?

The R-20 will be historic if it succeeds in building a God-centric value system in place of the current religion-centric one.

The R-20 will move from Muslim-majority Indonesia this year to Hindu-majority India next year and Catholic-majority Brazil in 2024. It can help the three world religions, together with Buddhism and other important religions, evolve a universal value system.

The religious leadership can be equal partners with the political, economic and technological leadership of the world in defining the destiny of mankind in the 21st century.

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