Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Nahdlatul Ulama

Founded in 1926 by Hasyim Asy’ari, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) supports education, cultural engagement, and socioeconomic development rooted in Islamic principles of justice, diversity, and tolerance. It is the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, with an estimated membership of 30 million. In 1999, the NU created a political party called the Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (National Awakening Party, PKB), which ranked fourth in the popular vote during the election. Drawing on widespread respect for NU within Indonesia, PKB gave the election legitimacy while working through their networks in rural areas to ensure voter education and fair voting. Although NU is a conservative Sunni Islamic group, it is a strong advocate against radical Islam and argues that Indonesia needs to build a national identity that includes all religious groups. However, NU has been criticized for a 2014 statement that denied the significance of recent religious violence. NU works around the country funding hospitals and schools.

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