SEAFORB VII

The SEAFORB VII was held online from November to December 2022 that discussed several topics among others:

  • Protecting the social space needed to optimize religious contributions to society: fostering collaboration for sustainable development, peacebuilding, and COVID recovery. The webinar explored the linkage between the protection of social space (notably, through protecting FoRB) and the furtherance of general social objectives in three key areas: sustainable development, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and post-COVID recovery. In each area, they discussed the importance of the social needs, the potential role that religious communities play in addressing the issues, and the importance of protecting the social space needed to protect the creativity, implementation capacity, and collaboration opportunities of the affected communities.

  • Harmony Laws in Southeast Asia: policing faiths, repressing rights”, a baseline study released by the Asia Centre in collaboration with Association for Progressive Communications (APC). The report examines the situation in Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore, which are ethnically and religiously diverse nations with divisive, painful colonial legacies and have long grappled with ethnic and religious tensions accentuated by contemporary migration.

  • A session on Vietnam that focused on the Cao Dai Religion as a case study of policies and measures employed by the government and the coping strategies developed by affected communities.

  • A session on Myanmar that explored the impact of Myanmar coup and the implication of the escalating ethnic conflict for freedom of religion or belief in the country, as well as the response from the international community.