Later this month, IGE will lead its annual delegation to Vietnam where they will engage government and civil society partners on crucial issues related to religious freedom and religion policy. This engagement, begun over a decade ago, will include meetings and speaking engagements in Hanoi at the Ministry of Public Security, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, the National Assembly, as well as meetings with various civil society organizations. IGE will also travel to the Northwest Highlands to meet with local authorities and faith groups and enhance their on-the-ground perspective of human rights and religious freedom in the region.

IGE, in partnership with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Hanoi) and Brigham Young University, will also conduct the 8th “International Conference on Religion & Rule of Law (R&ROL)” during their visit (from 15-16 September). This conference will focus on the development of religion and the rule of law in Vietnam and the ASEAN community. Following the conference, IGE will facilitate the fifth R&ROL certificate training program in the Northwest Highlands from 17-20 September. This one-week training program will address good governance and religion for local officials and faith leaders in the Lao Cai province. This will be the first-ever certificate program of this kind held at the district and provincial level.

This year’s R&ROL programs are the result of IGE’s deepening work in this field in Vietnam since 2012. This exclusive training series employs an international comparative approach that teaches government officials, scholars, policymakers, and religious leaders principles of religion and the rule of law. The programs equip local government and religious leaders to make the case from within their own cultural context that religious freedom is essential for a stable and prosperous society.