(September 2, 2022) – The Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) is excited to announce that it has received a grant from Templeton Religion Trust (TRT) for $1.4 million for its project on “Catalyzing Religious Engagement Networks Worldwide.” The three-year grant will enable IGE to expand its programming to two new regions, Southern Africa and Eastern Europe, as well as build upon its progress in Vietnam and Uzbekistan.

“We are deeply grateful to Templeton Religion Trust for their continued partnership with IGE as this project comes at such a crucial time for both the Southern Africa and Eastern Europe regions,” said IGE President and CEO John Boyd, who has previously served as the CEO of Mission Aviation Fellowship-South Africa, “Countries across the Southern Africa region have been wrestling with increasing governance challenges, religious conflicts, and social unrest, while Eastern European countries face renewed threats to their security and freedoms. We pray that this project, through engaging governments and faith communities throughout these regions, will catalyze new partnerships and solutions.”

The aims of this new project are twofold. First, it aims to create new educational and relational engagement structures bringing together government leaders and diverse religious actors in two regions—Southern Africa and Eastern Europe—struggling with conflicts along religious or worldview lines of difference. Second, it aims to weave these structures into cross-regional religious engagement networks, building ties with existing networks across Asia. This project will accomplish this through: 1) implementing training programs in Religion and Rule of Law and Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy; 2) convening Religious Engagement Forums to build local, regional, and global networks of change agents; and, 3) publishing multilingual research articles and expanding online platforms within the IGE website for blog essays and other resources by and for network members. Beyond promoting mere “tolerance,” this project’s components will synergistically advance all three enabling conditions of covenantal pluralism (religious freedom, religious literacy, and pluralist virtues). By teaching and modeling engagement and catalyzing ongoing connections, this project will yield new, self-sustaining networks of creative leaders who can change the conversation about religion in challenging contexts.