G20 Interfaith Summit in Germany: Religion, Sustainable Development, and the Refugee Crisis

The 2017 G20 Interfaith Summit was held in Potsdam, Germany 15-17 June 2017. The theme of the Summit was Religion, Sustainable Development, and the Refugee Crisis. The event brought together experts on economy, law and politics, as well as global leaders from various religious, professional and humanitarian backgrounds to highlight the key role that religion plays in promoting aspects of achievement of the United Nation’s post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals that Germany has chosen to highlight during this year’s G20 Summit. Special attention was paid to issues surrounding the refugee crisis, addressing issues of religious extremism, and addressing other issues such as the environment, where religious voices have much to contribute.

The objective of the G20 Interfaith Summits is to facilitate peace and harmony between people of all religious and philosophical traditions while exploring ways to work together to strengthen human development understood in the broadest sense. This is important because religion plays a major role in global events today, but its role is complex and can easily be misunderstood or even overlooked as a factor on the global stage. By focusing on a series of concrete issues that are much in the public eye, we hope to suggest a variety of ways that religion can contribute to enhanced responses to crucial social challenges.

The annual G20 Interfaith Summit brings together opinion leaders such as scholars, lawyers and political leaders with faith and interfaith leaders from around the world for three days of discussion and dialogue as a substantial contribution to the G20 Economic Forum. Such a gathering showcases the scholarly and societal contributions of faith traditions and philosophies from around the world. Furthermore, this conference creates opportunities for communication and relationship building and raises the profile of participating communities, groups and organizations. Summary videos and programs of previous events can be viewed here.