Washington, D.C. – (June 11, 2013) – For over 10 years, the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), in partnership with its Vietnamese country partners, has convened government and religious leaders to build consensus about how to best make religious freedom a viable and sustainable social construct in Vietnam. Through it’s work with government and religious organizations, IGE has catalyzed and contributed to sustainable change in the country, developing trusted networks of partners with which to inculcate policies that ensure that people of all faiths and none have full freedom of conscience and can participate equally as citizens in public life.

From 25-31 May 2013, IGE partnered with the Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs (CRA) to conduct a training seminar in the Son La province of Northwest Vietnam, where a total of 186 local government authorities were trained on Vietnam’s policies regarding religion. The seminar focused on raising awareness of Vietnam’s religious rights, civil obligations, and the government’s protection of religious freedom. Participants engaged in high level dialogue about the implementation of state policies on religion in the Son La province. Representatives from the Protestantism Affairs Department discussed the implementation of policies and laws regarding Protestantism in the Northwest Highlands and the mountainous regions of Vietnam.

This event built on IGE’s long engagement and relationship building in Vietnam, including 3 prior seminars conducted by IGE in the northwest and mountainous highlands of the Lao Cai, Cao Bang, and Ha Giang provinces. These training seminars—part of the Vietnamese government’s efforts to increase church registration and ensure religious freedom at the local level—equipped both authorities and religious leaders to better understand—together—the importance of religious policies, and their proper implementation at the local level.

About the Institute for Global Engagement – The Institute for Global Engagement works at the critical intersection of religion and global affairs, building sustainable environments for religious freedom worldwide. Through local partnerships, IGE works transparently to convene, connect, and build consensus among government, religious leaders and scholars to ensure that people of all faiths and none have full freedom of conscience and can participate as equal citizens in public life. To learn more about IGE, please watch our four minute video.