From June 28-29, 2018, the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) co-hosted two major Religion and Rule of Law (RROL) events in Hanoi, Vietnam: the official launch of a new Religion and Rule of Law Center, and a 12-year Retrospective of IGE’s religious freedom work in the country. IGE’s training programs are one of the main avenues through which IGE equips and builds bridges of understanding between Vietnamese government officials and religious leaders at the national and local levels.

The launch of the new Religion and Rule of Law Center at Vietnam National University is a tangible culmination of IGE's decade-long efforts in Vietnam. The center, funded entirely by the Vietnamese government, signifies Hanoi’s strong support and ownership of advancing religious freedom and the rule of law in the country. 

Video clip from the launch!

Along with the launch of the center, IGE's Vietnam partner also held a special exhibition to commemorate 12 years of our collaboration on conferences, training programs, and publications to promote religious freedom and rule of law. Alumni of our training programs, many of whom are government officials, expressed how their views have changed from suspicion and hostility of faith communities to recognition and affirmation of their positive contributions to society.

The two Religion and Rule of Law events also convened Vietnamese academics, government officials, and faith leaders, as well as alumni from 2012-17. The events created a politically safe space for people from all sectors of society to constructively discuss sensitive issues and become better equipped to resolve conflicts related to freedom of religion and belief. The event enabled participants to engage freedom of conscience on their own terms, in their local context, towards the goal of serving the well-being of society and good governance.

IGE looks forward to continuing our work in Vietnam this September where we will convene government officials and faith leaders from the Mekong Delta region’s Can Tho province for a Religion and Rule of Law training.

International delegation and Vietnamese examine exhibition on RROL publications

IGE Executive Director James Chen delivers opening remarks at the 12-year RROL Review Workshop