Since 2004, IGE has worked with both national leaders and the people of Vietnam to build religious freedom. Our unique and innovative programs are changing mindsets, equipping and building a network of reformers, and educating government officials and faith leaders on the legal protection of religious freedom for all. Thanks in part to IGE and our Vietnamese partners’ perseverance, the nation has made significant progress in religious freedom.
IGE has now trained over 4,000 Vietnamese scholars, government officials, policy advisers, faith leaders and military personnel on good governance and religion, religious rights, international standards of religious freedom, religious freedom in Vietnam, reconcilation, and the implications of Vietnam’s new law on religion and belief.
IGE’s network of alumni have produced a growing body of Vietnamese language scholarship on religious freedom advocacy. They are also making religious freedom, rule of law and harmonious state and religion relations regular topics of study and practice at academic and government institutions across the country.
“Religious freedom has been regarded as more sensitive even than military issues, but IGE’s work over the past 15 years in this area is successful because of our mutual trust and respect.”
“I hope that these types of programs will continue in order to make the public more aware of the importance of the guarantee of religious freedom and fundamental right to human beings.”
“Your bread and butter programs are making real impact on the ground, so please keep doing them!”
“I believe that a great deal of the favor that we are shown is a direct result of our partnership with the Institute for Global Engagement. I have seen firsthand the respect that government officials have for IGE.”
“We are very happy that we work with IGE and other partner organizations and institutions in Vietnam and in the U.S. on the process of religious freedom.”
“In Vietnam, there have been many publications on religion and beliefs, but this is the first one focusing on freedom of religion and belief – a topic that many people are still hesitant to discuss. This hesitance demonstrates the need for this textbook.”
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An IGE delegation visits the Northwest highlands in 2007. It was a strict religious landscape at the time. From 2007-2015 IGE made regular visits and conducted religion policies and registration seminars throughout the region; pluralism is becoming more acceptable to the government and society.
In 2008 IGE Founder Robert Seiple and an IGE delegation visited Gia Lai province Evangelical churches to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Protestant faith in the Central Highlands region.
IGE always seeks to listen to and learn from the local context. In order to better understand the religious freedom landscape, a 2010 delegation met with a family reporting harassment due conversion to Christianity.
IGE’s Religion and Rule of Law programming in Vietnam began in 2012. Since then we have held 7 certificate programs. 560 government officials and faith leaders have participated in our trainings to date.
IGE often hosts Vietnamese partners (academics, religion policy advisors) to the U.S. This is a 2015 delegation where we conducted several meetings to facilitate the exchange of information about religion.
In 2016 IGE CWFL Fellow Chaplain Judy Manala joined the IGE delegation to lecture at our Religion and Rule of Law programing. At a local Evangelical church, she prayed for pastor Bui Quoc Phong.
One of the many types of training programs IGE offers is conflict resolution skills with a focus on negotiation; these help faith leaders handle church conflicts and government relations better.
In 2017 IGE and our government partner, the Vietnam-USA Society (VUS) renewed our partnership through a new 5-year agreement to continue working on religious freedom projects. To date we have trained over 4,000 people about freedom of religion and its positive contributions to society.
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