Partners

Partners

IGE places a unique emphasis on relationship with local partners. Whether compelled by external criticism or internal conflict, governments invite IGE to help them transition their countries into an environment where people of all faiths and none can live out their values peacefully.

Vietnam-USA Society and the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations
Vietnam-USA Society and the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations

Established in 1945 and based in Hanoi, the Vietnam-USA Society (VUS) was the first organization in Vietnam to promote bilateral friendship with the United States (U.S.). Under the guidance of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) and a member organization of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the goal of VUS is to promote mutual understanding, friendly relations, and mutually beneficial cooperation between the people of Vietnam and the U.S. VUFO is a nation-wide socio-political organization whose main function is to establish and promote friendly and co-operative people-to-people relations between Vietnam and other countries in the world. VUFO comprises many peace, solidarity and friendship member organizations—both bilateral and multilateral—as well as provincial and municipal friendship unions throughout the country.

IGE has partnered with VUS/VUFO since 2004. In 2005, IGE and VUS signed a Letter of Intent to work together on religious freedom in the context of U.S.-Vietnam bilateral relations and signed an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2006. The MOU was a road map for a long-term partnership to support religious freedom progress in Vietnam. Affirming friendship, trust, and continued collaboration between IGE and its various other partners in the country, the MOU was renewed in 2012 and serves as a governing portal through which IGE will continue various initiatives on religious freedom at the national and local levels. Initiatives include: information exchange on religious issues in Vietnam and the U.S. through correspondence and reciprocal visits between the two countries; religion and rule of law trainings; trainings on  the Vietnamese government’s policy on religion; relationship-building between the government and Vietnamese religious communities; people-to-people (between Vietnam and the U.S.) friendship-building; and, interdisciplinary cooperation on religious freedom studies between academic institutions in Vietnam, the U.S., and other countries.

WEBSITE: http://www.vietpeace.org.vn/express/express_detail_e.aspx?id1=5&id2=12&id3=383
Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities

Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) seeks to be the leading center of knowledge in the field of social sciences and humanities in service of national construction and development for Vietnam. For over 65 years, since its establishment, USSH has been the leading research and training center in Vietnam in the areas of social sciences and humanities, which is mandated to educate and train qualified personnel in service of national defense and development.

Since 2012, USSH and IGE have partnered to conduct ten-day certificate programs on Religion and the Rule of Law. The certificate programs deepen and expand IGE's previous series of conferences on Religion and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia. The programs train an emerging generation of scholars, government officials, judges, and religious leaders on international and comparative approaches to religion and the rule of law throughout Vietnam. The training—using both comparative and interdisciplinary training methods—builds an intellectual foundation and network for religion-related law making as Vietnam develops a new legal infrastructure that contributes to religious freedom and the well-being of society.

On 19 June 2013, USSH, IGE, and Brigham Young University signed two agreements to further their collaboration on the field of religion and rule of law in Vietnam. These agreements enable USSH to apply for funding from the Vietnamese government to do comparative studies on religion and rule of law in Vietnam and the U.S. and make policy recommendations to the Vietnamese government regarding their policy on religion. If funded, this research would be a milestone for religious freedom progress in Vietnam, potentially marking this as the first time the Vietnamese government will fund such research themselves, signaling that after 10 years of work, IGE and its in-country partners are helping to shift the mindsets of government leaders, and starting to see a real change in behavior.

WEBSITE: http://ussh.vnu.edu.vn/en/
The Vietnamese Government’s Committee on Religious Affairs
The Vietnamese Government’s Committee on Religious Affairs

The Committee for Religious Affairs (CRA) oversees all religious affairs activities in Vietnam. IGE and VUS signed a protocol in October 2008 that stipulated how IGE would work with the CRA in developing “Religious Freedom” training seminars to train authorities and religious leaders at provincial and district levels about Vietnam's ordinances and decrees on religion. The partnership between IGE and CRA makes IGE the first foreign NGO to work with the Vietnamese government on ongoing training programs that promotes religious freedom at the local level.


These seminars focus on Vietnam's religious regulations, the importance of compliance with them at provincial and district levels, relationship building between the government and religious groups, and peace-building between people of religious faith and no faith. The seminars equip local government officials—who handle religious affairs at their district—with training on how to best engage and respect people of faith. They are given with materials on Vietnam’s religious policies and information on the basic theology and practice of different faith groups. For church leaders, the seminars provide the same policies on religion and peace-building (cross-religion and cross-ethnicity unity) so religious leaders are aware of their rights as well as their obligations as a citizen. As a result, the seminars help to: promote better understanding between the two groups; reduce negative stereotypes towards each other; increase official registration for house churches; and, reduce religion-related conflicts at local levels.

WEBSITE: http://btgcp.gov.vn/Plus.aspx/vi/1/0/
Institute for Religious Studies at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences
Institute for Religious Studies at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences

Established in 1953 and based in Hanoi, the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) is a government body tasked with studying fundamental issues in Vietnamese social sciences, providing an academic foundation for strategies and policies for rapid and sustainable development; organizing consultation and postgraduate training on social sciences; and, taking part in developing the potential of nationwide social sciences.

Within VASS, the Institute for Religious Studies (IRS) is responsible for research and advising the Vietnamese government on religious movements and policies on religion. IGE has partnered with IRS since 2004, resulting in a conference series on "Religion and Rule of Law in Southeast Asia." These conferences convene experts in law and religion from around the world to discuss comparative approaches to regulating religion in a Southeast Asian cultural context.

Also in partnership with IRS, IGE has conducted a series of Protestantism Roundtables (to provide a unique space for dialogue, scholarship, and candid discussions between the government and the Protestant community). During the roundtables, participants discuss topics regarding the Protestant faith's history in Vietnam, Protestantism’s positive contributions to Vietnamese society, the challenges to traditional beliefs and culture, policies on religion and Protestantism, and policy implementation in Vietnam. As a result, these roundtables provide the space for much needed reconciliation between the government and the Protestant community at the national level.

WEBSITE: http://vnctongiao.vass.gov.vn/Pages/Default.aspx
The Telos Group
The Telos Group

"Educating America's Faith Communities for Holy Land Peace"

The Telos Group seeks to educate American faith-based leaders and their communities of all political persuasions--the majority of the U.S. public--about the causes of and solutions to the modern conflict that ravages the Holy Land. The Telos Group aims to deepen understanding not only of the Holy Land's peoples and cultures but also of the vital U.S. interest in achieving a just and viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while the opportunity still exists.

Ultimately, the Telos Group hopes that its educational initiatives will meaningfully contribute to protecting and promoting the inviolable rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and securing the dignity and freedom of worship for the region's vibrant Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities.

WEBSITE: http://www.telosgroup.org/
Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief
Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief

The Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief is based at the Center for Human Rights at the Law School of the University of Norway. Founded in 1998, the Coalition is an international network of representatives from faith communities, NGOs, international organizations and the academia, with the aim of promoting freedom of religion or belief and strengthening interfaith co-operation worldwide. IGE's Council on Faith and International Affairs (CFIA) partnered with the Oslo Coalition to co-sponsor an international conference on "Law and Religion in Transitional Societies" in Oslo in December 2006. The conference convened Asian and Western experts in law, security, and religion to learn from the comparative approaches of one anothers' countries.

WEBSITE: http://www.oslocoalition.org/
International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University
International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University

Based within the J. Reuben Clark School of Law at Brigham Young University, Utah, the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) works with scholars, government leaders, nongovernmental groups, and religious organizations from a variety of countries and faith traditions, to promote religious liberty and study the relations between governments and religious organizations. IGE partnered with ICLRS to hold a September 2006 conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on "Religion and Rule of Law in Southeast Asia," which convened experts in law and religion from 10 countries to discuss comparative approaches to regulating religion in a Southeast Asian cultural context. IGE's Council on Faith and International Affairs (CFIA) and ICLRS also co-sponsored a conference on "Law and Religion in Transitional Societies" in Oslo, Norway, in 2006.

WEBSITE: http://www.iclrs.org/
The Berkley Center at Georgetown University
The Berkley Center at Georgetown University

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs was created in the office of Georgetown's President, Dr. John J. DeGioia, in March 2006. The Center is designed to build on Georgetown's strengths: academic excellence; Washington, DC, location; international reach; and a Catholic and Jesuit tradition open to other faiths and the wider secular world. Collaboration among faculty, administrators, and students — and generous support from William R. Berkley, a member of the University Board of Directors — has enabled the Center's rapid growth. Associate Professor Thomas Banchoff (Government and School of Foreign Service) is its founding director.

The force of religion in world affairs demands knowledge, dialogue, and action. Religion's role in national and international politics remains poorly understood. Communication across traditions is difficult. And religious communities have unmet potential in the struggle against violence, injustice, poverty, and disease around the world. Through research, teaching, and outreach activities, the Berkley Center builds knowledge, promotes dialogue, and supports action in the service of peace.   The Berkley Center is at the heart of a university-wide effort to make Georgetown a global leader in the interdisciplinary study of religion and the advancement of interreligious understanding.

IGE and the the Berkley Center hosted three symposia commemorating the tenth anniversary of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Act in 2008. Panelists addressed American International Religious Freedom policy and democracy promotion, civil society, religion-based terrorism, law (domestic and international) and public diplomacy. The final symposium took place on 10 October 2008, and will lead to a published brief on U.S. IRF policy that will be given to the new president and his administration.

WEBSITE: http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/