Image for ICLRS and IGE Partner for Religion & Rule of Law Program in Vietnam's Central Highlands

Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies Brett Scharffs joined colleagues from the Institute for Global Engagement in Vietnam from 7-10 March 2017 to conduct a "Religion and Rule of Law" (RROL) certificate training, in partnership with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities of Vietnam National University. For more on the Center's work in collaboration with Vietnam, please see this link. For a report on the Vietnam Central Highlands event, we are grateful for the report from IGE, below.

Press Release March 17, 2017: From 7 to 10 March 2017 the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), in partnership with the Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Brigham Young University’s International Center for Law and Religion... more

Image for Vietnam NW Highlands Regional Certificate Training Program on Religion & the Rule of Law

From September 19-24, 2016, the first-of-its-kind regional certificate training program on religion and the rule of law was held in Lao Cai city in the Northwest Highlands region of Vietnam. Although Lao Cai province has a population of only a little over 600,000, it includes 24 of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, and a wide array of religious and linguistic communities. 

The program was modeled on successful certificate training programs over the past five years held twice in Hanoi, once in Ho Chi Minh City, and once in Danang. This was the first time the program was designed for a primarily regional rather than national audience. More than 70 students participated in the program, including religious leaders, educators, and government and party officials with responsibilities regarding... more

Image for International Conference: Implementation of Law and Religion in Vietnam in the Context of Building the ASEAN Community

Center Director Brett Scharffs participated in a significant international conference in Hanoi, Vietnam on September 15-16, 2016 focusing on issues relating to law and religion in the ASEAN region. The conference included two dozen experts from most of the ten ASEAN countries, as well as the United States. Professor Scharffs made presentations on “The UN Declaration of Human Rights: Foundations of International Standards for Religious Freedom and the Rule of Law,” and on “Regulating Religion: Before registration, at registration, and after registration – advantages and disadvantages.”

The conference was co-organized and co-sponsored by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, a prestigious university within the Vietnam National University, BYU’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and the Institute for Global Engagement.

Image for Vietnam National Assembly Workshop on the Proposed Law on Belief and Religions

On September 15, 2016, Center Director Brett Scharffs and Emeritus Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals J. Clifford Wallace were the featured presenters at a workshop organized by the National Assembly of Vietnam on a proposed bill that would regulate religious groups in Vietnam.  The two were invited to give foreign scholarly and judicial perspectives on the proposed legislation pending before the National Assembly. Workshop participants were given a Vietnamese translation of the book, Law and Religion: National, International and Comparative Perspectives... more

Image for Fourth Certificate Training in Vietnam: Religion and the Rule of Law

Brigham Young University Law School professors Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs, Director and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, participated in the fourth Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam, held 14-23 September 2015 in Hanoi. Co-sponsored by the Center, the Institute for Global Engagement, and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities Hanoi, these annual training programs bring together experts in religion and good governance from Asia, Europe, and the United States with government officials, policy advisors, faith leaders, researchers, professors, and students — this year almost 70 of them — to strengthen a growing network of experts on law and religion in Vietnam and throughout Southeast... more

Image for 'Religion and the Rule of Law Comparative Studies:  Vietnam and the United States'

Press Release from the Institute for Global Engagement

From 11-12 May 2015, the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), in partnership with Brigham Young University (BYU) and Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences & Humanities (USSH), conducted a "Religion and the Rule of Law Comparative Studies: Vietnam and the United States" conference in Washington, DC. The conference examined religious freedom, good governance, and policymaking in the U.S. and Vietnam.

Conference participants focused on four cross-cutting themes: 1) Registration and legal status of religious groups; 2) Rights of religious foreign entities and individuals; 3) New religions; and, 4) Religious property. Experts from both countries brought various academic, religious, legislative, and international... more

Image for Third Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam

Report by Bryant Hinckley

In July 2014 the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was pleased to co-sponsor the third annual Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam. This year’s program was held in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. Da Nang is the center of commerce and education in central Vietnam. The program featured the top Vietnamese academics dealing with law and religion in their country along with many of the world’s leading academics on the topic. Judge Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Thomas Griffith D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also taught at the event. The Institute for Global Engagement, University... more

Image for Second Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS, Brigham Young University), in partnership with the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) and the University of Social Science and Humanities (USSH at Vietnam National University Hanoi) hosted the second ten-day certificate training program on "Religion and the Rule of Law" in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, from 16-25 September 2013. This program is designed to systematically build an intellectual infrastructure to help guide the current and emerging generation of Vietnamese scholars, government officials, policy advisors, and religious leaders, as they work to improve policy on religious freedom in their own contexts. The process is intended to provide a network for change, so that these Vietnamese leaders can make the case from within... more

Image for Visitors to the Center in 2013
Vietamese Delegation and Center Personnel visit BYU International Vice Presidents
Sandra Rogers and Erlend Peterson

The Center was pleased to welcome a number of distinguished visitors in 2013. 

  • Researchers from China: Jinsong Wu, Doctor of Judicial Science (Jan 2013–Jan 2014); Liang Liang, PhD Candidate (Jan–Apr 2013); Zhang Zheng, PhD Candidate (Jan–Apr 2013)
  • Delegation from Vietnam (Jun 2013): from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Vietnam National University (USSH/VNA): Hung/Do Quang; Thanh/Pham Quoc; Nguyen Van Hieu; Lam Minh Chau; Nguyen Van Khanh; from the Ministry of Public Security: Nguyen Hung Manh; from Brigham Young University: Sandra Rogers, International Vice President; Erlend 'Pete' Peterson
... more
Image for Center Signs MOU Concerning Religious Freedom with Vietnamese Delegation and IGE

Washington, D.C. – (June 27, 2013) For over 10 years, the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), in partnership with its Vietnamese country partners have convened government and religious leaders to build consensus about how to best make religious freedom viable and sustainable in Vietnam. Through IGE’s work with government officials 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... more

Image for Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam – December 2012
Far right: Brett Scharffs, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University

From 26 November to 5 December 2012, the Institute for Global Engagement, Brigham Young University, and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi co-conducted the first-ever certificate training program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam.

The purpose of the ten-day program was to train an emerging generation of scholars, government officials, judges, and religious leaders on international and comparative approaches to religion and the rule of law. The training—using both comparative and interdisciplinary training methods—helped to build an emerging intellectual foundation as they develop a new legal infrastructure that contributes to religious freedom and the well-being of society.

The program trained over 80 Vietnamese government officials, researchers... more

Image for Brett Scharffs: Religion and the Rule of Law for Vietnam

Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS), traveled to Vietnam in March 2012 to meet with University leaders at Vietnam National University – Hanoi. While there he to delivered a lecture on "Religion and the Rule of Law: Comparative and International Law Perspectives for Contemporary Vietnam" and discuss with the Vietnamese academics possibilities for significant joint academic programs in the future. 

Professor Scharffs, ICLRS Regional Advisor for Asia, is co-author, with his colleague W. Cole Durham, Jr. of the casebook, Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives (Wolters Kluwer 2010), second edition now in preparation.

Image for Religion and Rule of Law Conference in Vietnam, 16-18 June 2011

On June 16-18, 2011, Center Director Professor Cole Durham and Associate Director Professor Brett Scharffs participated in a conference on Religion and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam. The conference was the third in a series of conferences held in Vietnam under the co-sponsorship of the Institute of Religious Studies of the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), the Vietnam-U.S.A. Society, the Institute for Global Engagement, and BYU Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

Scholars and government officials from Vietnam were joined at the conference by scholars and lawyers from Brunei, Canada, the People’s... more