Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Religion 20 (R20) Forum, organized under Indonesia's G20 Presidency, would discuss roles that major religions could play in addressing global issues, according to the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU).

"For the first time, the G20 Summit officially included a discussion on how major religions could involve themselves to address urgent global issues as the main event," PBNU Communication and Information Institute Chairperson Ishaq Zubaedi Raqib stated on Friday.

The R20 meeting, part of the G20 Sherpa Track engagement group, is organized to encourage discussions among world religious leaders, so that religion can provide a solution to various problems.

Raqib said that the R20 forum mobilises global religious leaders to ensure religions remain relevant and could provide concrete solutions to global issues instead of aggravating the issues.

The main purpose of the R20 forum is to prevent identity issues to be used as a weapon, prevent group hate, and protect residents from violence and conflict, he underlined.

He added that the R20 encouraged honest and realistic discussion among religious communities and instill moral and spiritual values in geopolitical and economic structures.

"Acknowledging our challenges in Indonesia, NU and Centre for Shared Civilisational Values (R20 Secretariat) have invited the Mecca-based World Muslim League General Secretary, Syaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Issa, to be the R20 co-chair," Raqib stated.

Apart from the World Muslim League, Nahdlatul Ulama has, since 2019, also cooperated with the World Evangelical Alliance, representing 600 million Protestants in 143 countries, he noted.

He added that World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Thomas Schirrmacher would attend the R20 forum in Nusa Dua, Bali, next November.

Earlier, PBNU Chairperson Yahya Cholil Staquf noted that some 160 world inter-religious figures and 250 domestic participants, totaling 400 figures, are expected to attend the R20 Forum in Bali.

The PBNU initiated the forum in February 2022 and has since communicated the intent with the government, he remarked, adding that following communication with various parties, including President Joko Widodo, the organization is authorized to organize the forum.

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Translator: Putu Indah S, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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