From November 1-4, 2023, IGE and its partners held the 10th Religion & Rule of Law certificate training program in Ho Chi Minh City. There were 93 participants from six provinces and cities in Vietnam’s southeast region, Bình Phước, Tây Ninh, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu and Ho Chi Minh City. The participants consisted of provincial-level religious affairs officials, government training institution lecturers, and faith leaders.

The four-day training addressed several topics at the intersection of religion and law including: legal status of religious groups, personal rights of religious believers, Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, registration of religious organizations, human dignity and religious freedom, and case studies on Singapore and Indonesia on government-religion relations and governing a multiethnic and multifaith society. In addition, the program included presentations from representatives of faith-based charities in Vietnam.

Training program participants were also brought to religious sites of different faith communities in Ho Chi Minh City and to hear from different religious leaders. For most participants, it was their first time ever visiting a Buddhist temple, Muslim mosque, or Hindu temple.

IGE and its partners, the Institute for Religion and Belief at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, International Center for Law & Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School, and Vietnam Union of Friendship Organization’s Vietnam-USA Society, have conducted 10 training programs on religion and rule of law since 2012, training more than 1,000 government officials, academics, and faith leaders. To learn more about previous trainings and IGE’s work in Vietnam, click here.