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G E O R G E T O W N U N I V E R S I T Y
Faith-Inspired Organizations and Global Development Policy
A Background Review “Mapping” Social and Economic Development Work in Southeast Asia
A project of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
Supported by the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs
BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS
Luce/SFS Program on Religion and International Affairs
The Luce/SFS Program on Religion and International Affairs has been exploring the intersection of faith, world politics and diplomacy since September 2006. A collaboration between the Henry Luce Foundation and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) and Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, the Luce/SFS Program initially focused on two issue areas: Religion and Global Development and Religion and US Foreign Policy. A follow-on award from the Luce Foundation in November 2008 has enabled the continued growth of both program areas and the addition of two more: Government Outreach and an online Religion and International Affairs Network.
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Founded in 1919 to educate students and prepare them for leadership roles in international affairs, the School of Foreign Service conducts an undergraduate program for over 1,300 students and graduate programs at the Master’s level for more than 700 students. Under the leadership of Dean Robert L. Gallucci, the School houses more than a dozen regional and functional programs that offer courses, conduct research, host events, and contribute to the intellectual development of the field of international affairs. In 2007, a survey of faculty published in Foreign Policy ranked Georgetown University as #1 in Master’s degree programs in international relations.
The Berkley Center
The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, created within the Office of the President in March 2006, is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of religion and the promotion of interreligious understanding. Through research, teaching, and service, the Center examines religion as it relates to global challenges of international diplomacy, democracy and human rights, and economic and social development. Two premises guide the Center’s work: that deeper knowledge of religion’s global role is critical to address these challenges, and that the open engagement of religious traditions with one another and with the wider society can promote peace. Thomas Banchoff, associate professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, is the Center’s founding director.
The World Faiths Development Dialogue
The World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) bridges between the worlds of faith and secular development. Established by James D. Wolfensohn, then President of the World Bank, and Lord Carey of Clifton, then Archbishop of Canterbury, WFDD responded to the opportunities and concerns of many faith leaders who saw untapped potential for partnerships. Based in Washington, D.C., WFDD supports dialogue, fosters communities of practice, and promotes understanding on religion and development, with formal relationships with the World Bank, Georgetown University, and many faith-inspired institutions.
The Asia Faiths Development Dialogue
The Asia Faiths Development Dialogue (AFDD), launched in 2006, seeks to strengthen faith by mobilizing support of the different faith groups in Cambodia and in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region, to work for peace, development and harmony in order to achieve a peaceful coexistence of the people in Asia and beyond. AFDD fosters constructive inter-faiths dialogue through broad participation in order to promote trust-building and reconciliation as well as societal development. By bridging the gaps among the different faith groups at the national, regional, and international levels, AFDD strives to ameliorate the lives of diverse people around the world.
Copyright 2010, Georgetown University.
About this Report
This report was prepared as part of the Berkley Center’s global “mapping” of the work of faith-inspired organizations worldwide. The report specifically served as background for a consultation on faithinspired organizations and global development policy in Southeast Asia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in December 2009. A separate, companion report summarizes the meeting itself, including interviews with participants; all are available on the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) websites.1 The draft report was reviewed by participants in the Phnom Penh consultation; we acknowledge their inputs with gratitude. The Southeast Asia review is part of the comparative project on Religion and Global Development supported by the Henry R. Luce Foundation. Through a series of meetings with stakeholders and background reports, the Berkley Center and WFDD have worked to ‘“map’” the role of faithinspired organizations around the world, highlighting best practices and policy issues that arise. Prior events have included: a meeting in Washington, DC in April 2007 focused on the United States; a meeting in Doha, Qatar in December 2007 focused on the Muslim World; a meeting in The Hague, The Netherlands in June 2008 focused on Europe and Africa; and a meeting in Antigua, Guatemala in January 2009, focused on Latin America. A future meeting is planned for South Asia.
About the Authors
The report was prepared by a team of researchers at the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the World Faiths Development Dialogue. The principal author is Michael Bodakowski, working under the supervision of Katherine Marshall. Sarah Arkin and Walker Grooms, graduate research fellows at the Berkley Center, contributed significantly, as did Michael Scharff and Augustina Delaney from their on-going work in Cambodia. Thomas Bohnett provided invaluable guidance and input throughout the process. Melody Fox Ahmed played a key role from the beginning of the consultation process, without whose contributions this report would not have been possible. Kory Kantenga and Amy Vander Vliet also made important contributions.
BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS
Table of Contents
Part 1: Southeast Asia: An Overview
G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y
Religion in Southeast Asia: A Brief Overview—Actual, Historical, Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Buddhism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Islam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Christianity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Hinduism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Indigenous Beliefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Faith-Inspired Organizations with Transnational Mandates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Major Faith-Inspired Organizations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Part 2: Sector Focus and Emerging Trends and Policy Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peace and Conflict Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human Trafficking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Environment and Natural Disasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Governance and Transparency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 1: Filipino Catholic Church Fights for Good Governance and Against Corruption. . . . . Part 3: Country Case Studies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Indonesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historical Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion and Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Development Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Government, Religious Institutions, and NGOs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nadlhatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . International Faith-Inspired Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Interfaith Cooperation and Conflict. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 2: Women’s Rights and Faith-Inspired Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Socio-Economic Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion in the Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 3: Mindanao: Conflict and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faith and Public Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 4: Civil Society, the Catholic Church, and Agrarian Reform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NGOs, Civil Society, Faith, and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 5: Environmental Call for Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 6: Habitat for Humanity—Peace Build Program in Mindanao . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 7: The Catholic Church and Contraception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emerging Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 8: Sister Adelia S. Oling and People’s Alternative Livelihood Foundation . . . . . . . . . . Cambodia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cambodia’s Religious Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Development and Buddhist Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 9: The Association of Buddhists for the Environment (ABE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 15 16 17 18 20 20 21 25 25 25 26 26 27 28 28 29 29 30 30 31 31 32 33 33 34 35 35 36 37 37 37 38 39 39
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emerging Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religious Organizations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Role of Faith-Inspired Actors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Socio-Economic Background . Box 10: Soka Gakkai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Development and Muslim organizations . . . . Politics. . . . . . Singapore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion in Burma (Myanmar) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 13: The Hajj Fund and Islamic Banking in Malaysia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Socially Engaged Buddhism in Thailand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Japanese Foreign Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Socio-Economic and Political Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 41 41 43 43 43 44 44 45 46 46 46 47 47 49 49 49 50 51 51 51 52 52 53 57 57 57 58 58 59 59 60 61 62 63 63 63 64 64 65 66 67 67 67 Appendix 1: Annotated Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christian Development Activities . . . . . . . . The Country in Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 3 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Burma (Myanmar) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Malaysia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Taiwan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NGOs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Endnotes . . . . . . Religion in Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faith-Inspired Organizations and Development in Japan and Abroad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part 4: Transnational Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and the Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Interfaith Cooperation and Dialogue . . . . . . . . . . . . Islam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . United States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faith-Inspired Development Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion in Laos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thailand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Laos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Development Work in Vietnam . . . . . . . Socio-Economic Background . . . . . . . . . Box 11: Korean Missionaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NGOs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Japan. . . United States and Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Religion in Thailand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Korea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faith-Inspired Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ethnicity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Box 12: Tzu Chi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
environmental preservation. conflict resolution. and its findings are far from definitive. focusing primarily on those with an Asian focus but also international faithinspired organizations including World Vision. and they vary by country and region. and the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. both historically and present-day. and their policy implications. mosques. this review is exploratory. Institutions and communities with faith links engage in widely ranging activities. others covering a wide gamut of services and community action. These organizations and the people who work with them form a web of development practitioners that.Faith-Inspired Organizations and Global Development Policy A Background Review “Mapping” Social and Economic Development Work in Southeast Asia R Introduction eligion is a pervasive and influential force across Southeast Asia. though they do have vibrant faithinspired organizations engaged in development work that deserve investigation. Muslim Relief. HIV/AIDS. and religious practices and institutions both shape and are changed by the social revolutions across all realms of Southeast Asian society. to those more commonly associated with secular organizations. humanitarian relief. and in an extraordinary array of partnerships with secular institutions. ranging from the spiritual realm. The review has proved challenging. belief and action.2 Its central aim is what we term a “mapping” of the landscape of faith-inspired organizations working in development. therefore. Given the diversity and size of Southeast Asia. enriched by ongoing WFDD field work in Cambodia and interviews with specialists and practitioners. among many other sectors. and thus has not constrained its analysis to a tightly defined set of faith actors. and emergency relief. public and private. cultural. and economic) largely determines and influences their roles and activities. The report is based largely on desk reviews of existing material and literature. The report makes no systematic effort to define religion or faith. It also sets out to identify areas meriting further investigation and discussion. focusing on Southeast Asia. working from the many thousands of temples. political. They work in education. They work independently. The report thus focuses on a country by country overview that highlights the challenges and constraints at a national level. transmits experience and ideas across national and often faith boundaries. inter alia. in order to identify and highlight areas with potential for increased collaboration. The report aims to identify and examine the practical. churches. development related roles of faith-inspired institutions and the environments in which they work. A separate section explores the work of transnational organizations. in collaboration with other faith-inspired groups. some countries are not discussed in this report. Religious beliefs are as diverse as the region’s geography and peoples. and our use of the term “faith-inspired” reflects an appreciation of the complex links between inspiration and organization. Faith-inspired institutions can be found working in all sectors of society. pastoral care). Religion and faith are tied to moral and ethical attributes that tend to emphasize human and spiritual contributions to political and economic domains. To a significant extent. Its approach is wide-ranging and inclusive. some classically religious in nature (teaching scripture. 5 2010 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | . The wide range of religious beliefs that characterize the region give rise to an extraordinary diversity of institutional forms and activities. and other religious institutions across the region. health. Their overall nature and form are not documented or analyzed in any systematic way. The country context in which faith-inspired organizations work (social.
The primary focus of the present exploration. have rarely figured on development agendas. Diverse faith-inspired organizations form part of the development architecture. The major faiths present in Southeast Asia all profess a particular focus on those who are excluded and marginalized in society. as well as special challenges on issues ranging from governance to effective community mobilization. Hinduism. but on a set of more pragmatic questions linked to policy engagement and service delivery. and religious fabric of Southeast Asia. In communities. human rights abuses. and indigenous religions and beliefs are also significant. The report’s findings could serve as a useful enrichment for development discussions. and wide-ranging efforts to address conflicts and social tensions. Confucianism. The report focuses on the largest faith communities. which tend to have the most active institutions: Buddhism. bringing faith communities into close proximity. except as elements of what is broadly defined as civil society. but other religions and indigenous belief systems also help to weave the social. and Christianity. The central threads running through much of the analysis and discussions are the purposeful focus of much faith-inspired work on poor communities and grassroots endeavors. Belief systems are syncretic in many situations. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y . cultural. To date. Recent natural disasters in Southeast Asia highlight how effectively some faith-inspired actors can respond and their extraordinary reach. faith-inspired organizations can have a nuanced understanding of the local context. who are often particularly imbued with their religious identity. presenting attendant challenges of coordination and aligning with national and international strategic objectives. practical ways. is not on the ways in which faith and belief shape attitudes towards development and related behaviors. and each of the larger world religions has a uniquely Southeast Asian character. faith-inspired institutions. faith-inspired grassroots initiatives engage the poorest members of the community. A wide array of groups addresses social injus6 tice. Often the faith-inspired experience suggests new insights and practical lessons. The review is designed to inform and serve both faith and development practitioners. In Southeast Asia. Faith-inspired organizations thus find themselves often at the epicenter of local understanding and influence surrounding development work and humanitarian aid. and those who are poor. Muslim. interreligious conflict. and often have a significant value-added. leading both to constructive cooperation. national borders and ethnicities overlap. and environmental degradation in concrete. as such. and Judaism all have reach and influence.Beliefs affect behaviors relevant to many endeavors having clear social. at the grassroots level. In places where there are active conflicts. economical. and established relationships and trust with local leaders and community members. however. and political reach. those who suffer. Shintoism. Faith-inspired organizations are particularly active. significant and well established networks. and in some instances.
7 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 .
Part I Southeast Asia: An Overview R Religion in Southeast Asia: A Brief Overview—Actual. Burma’s (Myanmar’s) military regime has in many respects coopted the upper echelons of the Buddhist sangha. installing Buddhism as permanent and influential fixture across these Southeast Asian societies. including those with a faith character. the Buddhist lineage of the King remains a symbol of national cohesion during its on-going political crisis. has a large and dynamic civil society with thousands of different organizations working in virtually every imaginable sector. Even the most remote and inaccessible locations are likely to have a vibrant religious center or centers that often function as a social and economic hub. and Laos. Thus.23% Agnostic: 2. The respective roles of local versus regional and international organizations also differs markedly by country. The capacity of the state also shapes the approach to faith-inspired organizations. with a vibrant and established democracy.4 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 9 . historically spread from India and Sri Lanka to present day Burma (Myanmar). the oldest of the three main divisions of Buddhism and most widespread practice in Southeast Asia.69% Other: 6. relations between state and faith.83% Source: The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) Buddhism Theravada Buddhism. This diversity gives rise to widely different arrangements and focus in terms of types of development programs and sector concentration. Population by Religious Affiliation (%) Ethnoreligionist: 4. a communist state. and predominant areas of activity of faith institutions vary widely across the region. sometimes mirrored also in wide differences among regions of a single country. while in Vietnam.3 while in Burma (Myanmar). Trends Figure 1 Southeast Asia. The following section briefly introduces the region’s major religious traditions. in addition to its obvious and influential spiritual realm. Thailand. the Philippines. Religious demography. and as a force for national cohesion. for example. Historical. as well as to civil society more broadly. Faith-inspired institutions are involved in a range of social and public services at the community level. Cambodia. has been used by political leaders to derive power and support. including prominently but not exclusively education and health. Buddhism. and each country presents a quite different profile. Buddhist kings and powerful Buddhist empires reigned across the Mekong River region for hundreds of years. through the 13th century.09% Muslim: 36. Malaysia. Buddhist: 27. nongovernmental organizations. work under significant restrictions. beside more classic spiritual roles.98% eligious institutions and faith-inspired organizations have a strong physical and spiritual presence across most Southeast Asian communities.90% Christian: 21. In Thailand.
However. Christianity Christianity is thought to have begun its journey into Asia with the mission of the apostle Thomas in India. Caritas. Cambodia.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Buddhist monks. Christianity’s reach and influence today is spreading. a Japanese lay Buddhist movement. Muslim organizations are an integral component of the social and BERKLEY CENTER | 10 . Islam influences governance. for example. South Korean churches are particularly active in sending missionaries (primarily Protestant) across Southeast Asia. notably in Indonesia and Malaysia. and. Apart from the Philippines. In Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. In predominantly Muslim countries. including education. and Vietnam). Catholicism arrived in Southeast Asia on a large scale with the Spanish in Manila in 1571. and Burma (Myanmar).5 Sulak Sivaraksa has been particularly influential in bringing attention to the socially engaged Buddhist movement. Malaysia. for example. and Southeast Asia is home to 65 percent of the world’s Muslims. Prominent examples are Aceh. Christianity has exerted less influence than Buddhism. Cambodia. are driven by a small minority of religious hardliners and political elites.6 Buddhist organizations from the wealthier countries in Asia (particularly Japan and Taiwan). and southern Thailand. Some observers suggest that movements towards Sharia law. approximately 9 percent of the population is Christian. contributing a Buddhist voice to international development discussions on topics ranging from social justice and education to environmental protection and sustainable development. law. legal. Daily functions of the state. political fabric. and Malaysia. and finance. Christianity has experienced quite rapid growth in Vietnam in the past decade. Islam Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Southeast Asia (an estimated 37 percent of the population). in many cases together with local traditions and customs. has active chapters in most countries in Asia. but are discussed within policy and operational circles. with significant minorities in most countries (particularly Burma (Myanmar). Adventist Development and Relief Agency. Mindanao (Philippines). Christians are present primarily among minority ethnic groups.7 Islamic education is influential. many faith-inspired organizations are Christian and involved in a wide range of activities including education and health. though it faces various obstacles from the government. Hinduism. Recent tensions within specific communities are seen to result largely from the influence of strains of Islam from the Middle East. are active in promoting socially engaged Buddhism on a regional and international level. both national and transnational. The Buddhist temple often serves as an important center of social life in villages and towns. put to practice the tenets of socially engaged Buddhism. at times blurring the line between the secular and religious realms. Soka Gakkai. They remain a widespread presence in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country. Alongside traditional Buddhist structures. predominantly lay movements. and Cordaid. Indonesia. historically. Most Southeast Asian Muslims follow Sunni Islam. and regional levels. In Cambodia. among other aspects of daily life. Some countries or sub-regions are witnessing pressures to follow stricter Islamic legal and political codes. often offering education and other social services. are influenced by Muslim practice and thought. Laos. but also recognized in majority Buddhist countries such as Thailand. Large Christian organizations include: World Vision. replaces public education systems in many areas. Traditionally Southeast Asian Islam has lived harmoniously alongside the region’s other large religions and indigenous belief systems. and in Indonesia. Islam. These contrast with traditional practices and beliefs. Islam was introduced in Southeast Asia by way of Arab merchants and sailors and is present today throughout the region. in varying ways and to varying degrees. national. and finance policy. The most populous Muslim countries and regions are: Indonesia. laying the foundation for the predominantly Roman Catholic heritage in the Philippines today. especially in Thailand. though Christian missionaries and development workers are widespread in Buddhist majority areas as well. Jesuit Relief Service. Protestant Christianity was first introduced in the region by the Dutch in the early seventeenth century but did not spread extensively until missionaries arrived en mass early in the nineteenth century. are actively engaged in social development work at the local. lay Buddhist movements. in addition to spiritual guidance. The tensions are not easily measured or mapped.
”10 (Myanmar). Indigenous Beliefs Indigenous beliefs are widely practiced throughout Southeast Asia. and Burma (Myanmar). the Supreme Patriarch of the (Buddhist) Dharma Yuttikanikaya Order observed in February 2009 that “Buddhism is the national religion of Cambodia. however. at times presenting challenges for faith-inspired organizations. and Chung Tai Shan. and traditions are still important today and permeate local culture in many aspects. particularly evident in local ceremonies and traditions. Throughout the 1800s Dutch colonial policy brought India and Bali under the same rule and later aimed to protect Balinese Hinduism by limiting Christian and Islamic proselytization. Laos. 9 Today. and objects. Animists living in Burma (Myanmar). In Burma Transnational development work by faith-inspired organizations from all of the major religions is significant across Southeast Asia. was formalized in the middle of the eleventh century by King Anawrahta of Bagan. Japan. the world’s largest Hindu temple. several Buddhist organizations. Spreading from India in the first century. compared to about 9 percent in Indonesia as a whole. especially at the local level. Many of these organizations have strong ties in wealthier countries. especially those in the region. the historically peaceful coexistence of Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism has ensured a lasting Hindu influence on beliefs. Australia. animist spirits of people who died violent deaths. Although less than one percent of Cambodia’s population is Hindu today. While many of the original religious practices have faded as other religions were introduced. Australia’s largest transnational faith-inspired organization is World Vision Australia. In Indonesia. the largest Christian non-governmental organization operating in the Asia Pacific region. notably Soka Gakkai and Rissho Kosei-kai. often in conjunction with other faiths. some of the largest being Tzu-Chi. traditional and animist beliefs are prohibited by law. a pantheon of nats. Indigenous belief systems tend to be more common and “pure” in rural areas. rituals. but Hinduism is the traditional culture of Cambodia. Local beliefs and superstitions present in rural areas influence communities’ views on modern development. Vietnam. Shamanism sometimes plays a role in the indigenous religious practices of Southeast Asia.Hinduism Millions of people throughout Southeast Asia practice Hinduism. They blend with larger religions. and Vietnam often face additional antagonism from the state since they are more likely to belong to ethnic minority groups that the government associates with “subversive” political activity. and practices in the country. Korea. architecture. Hindu art. Hinduism has left an indelible cultural and religious heritage in Cambodia. have significant international programs. and Taiwan have active faithinspired development and relief organizations. Thailand. Both organizations collaborate between and across faiths and with the United Nations and other international organizations with the explicit aim of promoting a harmonious society. there are often different strata of spirits that have access to or inhabit different ethereal levels. involving the worship of spirits that inhabit many different living organisms. Cambodia is home to Angkor Wat. There is. Indonesia. after he unsuccessfully tried to enforce a ban on nat worship. Hindus account for about 90 percent of the total population in Bali. for instance. Dharma Drum Mountain. In the cosmologies of Southeast Asian animism.8 Hinduism first spread to Indonesia through colonization. places. Southeast Asian indigenous beliefs are generally animist in nature. Taiwan’s many Buddhist organizations do social development work with international mandates. often creating a unique national religious character reflecting each country’s distinct history and culture. trade. Fo Guang Shan. for example the Malaysian bomohs. as the Angkor kings promoted Hindu sects in the 8th century. From Japan. whose traditional healing practices are to varying degrees integrated into Islam. and adherents have reported discrimination. Laos. the highest concentration being in Bali. much variation in the degree to which animism and other indigenous beliefs have or have not been institutionalized. Korea draws on its Buddhist and BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS Faith-Inspired Organizations with Transnational Mandates | 2010 11 . Bour Kry. and intermarriage.
or should a central coordinating body manage and oversee development and relief efforts? Transnational faith-inspired organizations often have larger operating budgets than their national counterparts (though this is not always the case) and many employees that form a worldwide network of offices. for example the partnership between World Vision and Muhammadiyah in Indonesia. can be found on the Berkley Center website. Organizations in the list were chosen based on their range of activities in one or more countries in Southeast Asia. grew out of the tsunami response. More comprehensive country lists. Is decentralization the ideal route. many with headquarters in the USA and Europe. saw the mobilization of organizations from around the world. Numerous other primarily Western based international faith-inspired organizations are active across Southeast Asia. These organizations are working nationally. American Jewish World Service. and Jesuit Refugee Service. and independently. Catholic Relief Services. lists some of the 12 JEWISH American Jewish World Service American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee largest and most recognized organizations working in the region. as well as collaborating across faiths and with secular development agencies and governments. including local organizations. religion CHRISTIAN organization Caritas Internationalis Catholic Relief Services Christian Aid Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) World Vision Jesuit Refugee Services World Council of Churches Lutheran World Relief Norwegian Church Aid Habitat for Humanity Salvation Army G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y BUDDHIST Tzu Chi Dharma Drum Mountain Guang Shan Chung Tai Shan Buddhist Peace Fellowship Buddhist AIDS Project Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation Soka Gakkai The Buddhist NGO Network of Japan (BNN) Thai Rissho Friendship Foundation Rissho Kosei-kai Arigato Foundation Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) BERKLEY CENTER | MUSLIM Muslim Aid Islamic Relief BAHA’I INTERFAITH Baha’i International Community Coordinating Group for Religion and Society (CGRS) Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions World Conference of Religions for Peace Major Faith-Inspired Organizations Major world faiths with a presence in Southeast Asia are engaged in social development work on varying scales. regionally. Islamic Relief. Most of these organizations work with populations whose faith-beliefs differ from their own and strive to provide aid and assistance regardless of religious orientation.11 . Muslim Aid. The Asian tsunami of 2004. Many interfaith initiatives. They are instrumental in rapid response to complex humanitarian emergencies following natural disasters or conflict. the largest humanitarian emergency of our time (possibly alongside the January 2010 Haiti earthquake). raising the question as to how local and transnational organizations should best collaborate amid catastrophes. These organizations commonly work through partnerships with local faith-inspired organizations and institutions.Christian roots in its overseas development work. The tsunami also brought to light the difficulties of coordination among faithinspired actors. increasing transnational and national networks of development practitioners and building local capacity. Faith-inspired organizations are based both in Asia itself and abroad. Large organizations include World Vision (USA and Europe). The following chart.
13 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 .
and Burma (Myanmar). broader social and economic dynamics. how religious beliefs contribute to conflict situations is complex and contentious. others see incitement or encouragement by religious leaders. notably those involving Mindanao (Philippines). Religion is almost always one among many sources of tension. faith-inspired actors are undeniably engaged in virtually all contemporary conflict situations in the region in different capacities. national. and perceptions of religion’s role vary by actor and over time. which contribute to social tension. and migration. Aceh and Sulawesi (Indonesia). Under virtually all circumstances. Beyond “traditional” conflicts. Some ascribe conflicts to intrinsic tensions that give rise to inter. often has earned for them a level of trust that is typically not associated 15 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS eligion plays a visible yet often ambiguous role in the multiple and very different conflict situations across Southeast Asia. thus. and ethnicity overlap in shaping attitudes towards violence and the position of “the other. More specifically. Some well-known instances of terrorist acts where the perpetrators say that their motives are religious are a mounting concern with global implications. Notable are the potential and actual tensions linked to climate change that introduce new forms of dislocation or social competition (for example land and water disputes and climate driven refugees). at the international. support during resettlement. However. As an example. has raised societal tensions. religious heritage linked to historical memories and the politics of identity clearly can infuse or exacerbate conflicts which also have political and economic dimensions. roles in conflict resolution. Looking beyond religion as a cause or fuel for tension. The historical and almost universal presence of faith institutions as centers of social and economic life in most communities. while still others see religion as a proxy for tensions that have other roots. especially in rural areas. many ascribe religious elements. communities. and serving as a witness to both atrocities and heroic actions. Religion.12 and. These activities form the backbone and often raison d’être of a wide range of faith-inspired organizations. including in Southeast Asia. humanitarian aid during conflicts (especially work with refugees). inter alia. but examples are religious leader participation in formal and informal peace negotiations (as has been the case in the Philippines). religious institutions.Part 2 Sector Focus and Emerging Trends and Policy Questions R Peace and Conflict Resolution That said. culture.” This complexity helps to explain the lack of consensus on religion as a cause or fuel for conflicts worldwide. to several Southeast Asian conflicts. often critical. regional. These conflicts range from armed disputes and terrorist threats to simmering social tensions and communities where high crime rates and other factors produce insecurity. for Southeast Asia. competition over water resources more broadly. the rise of more fundamentalist interpretations and tendencies within some Muslim communities. The terms “peacemaking” and “peacebuilding” apply to a wide range of work. faith-inspired contributions at the grassroots level emerge as an area of particular interest. Southern Thailand. Malaysia. religion may also enter into other. Information about the roles of faith-inspired organizations in all these areas is partial and scattered.or intra-faith conflict. Agreement on the range of activities that these terms include vary. In the Southeast Asia review. and grassroots levels. 2010 | . support for trauma healing and victims. and leaders can and do play central.
National and local level faith-inspired organizations range in influence and activity. Historically. Change and crisis. and leaders in ongoing dialogue about development directions and issues can play important roles. including: World Conference of Religions for Peace. and long-term development planning. These transnational organizations often work in partnership with local churches. temples. albeit complex. interfaith dialogue. There. Thus massive work in Aceh in which many of these organizations participated following the 2004 tsunami combined postconflict work. Parliament of the World’s Religions. and garners attention at the national level. Caritas. Their contributions have particular importance in fragile states and communities. fears. Catholic Relief Services. often spark tensions. local NGOs. Most of the large international faith-inspired organizations work in the major conflict zones in Southeast Asia. and civil society. World Vision. religious leaders. Thailand). depending on the country context. in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide. and Jesuit Refugee Service. including reconciliation work with very practical rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami. Increased transnational exchange and influence within faiths (an example being educational exchange between the Arab world and Southeast Asian Muslims—contributing to what some term “Arabization” of Southeast Asian Islam) has put pressure on the historical character of Southeast Asian faiths. United Religions Initiative (all of which have regional bodies working to promote interfaith dialogue). they often provide the little education and health care that is available and have extraordinary knowledge of local circumstances. Poor governance and corruption. Islamic Relief. Their programs vary widely and include humanitarian assistance. Philippines. faithinspired actors have been effective in mobilizing public support for peace (for example in Cambodia with the Buddhist-led peace marches and Soka Gakkai’s advocacy for nuclear disarmament). communities. may blur the lines between tendencies that truly represent a distortion of religious teachings towards an extreme and more dubious labeling and marginalizing of a group as extremist. but it is related to the development agenda because of significant. The reality and perception of corruption is increasingly a platform for political mobilization (witness Indonesia in 1998. American Jewish World Service. In Mindanao. reconciliation. facilitating dialogue across warring sides. Soka Gakkai. undermining the stability and physical security which are preconditions for successful social progress. and voicing opposition to oppression. links between development and instability. The review highlights the widely held view that the potential for working with and through on-the-ground networks of faith-inspired organizations is only partially developed. and trauma healing. as well as broad community development. and faith-inspired organizations are involved in various ways. Indonesia is a special case. While actual outcomes are difficult to measure. mosques. The gap 16 . Their conflict work is closely tied to other activities. with the so-labeled group increasingly resentful of their treatment. and are particularly marked in Cambodia. and aspirations.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y with government or secular agencies. BERKLEY CENTER | Health The lower income countries in Southeast Asia face a significant array of health issues. Muslim Aid. Religious extremism is in many respects a distinct topic. where conflict involves a predominantly Muslim minority in a majority Catholic nation. particularly in reaching rural areas. with the large and experienced Muslim organizations Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama carrying significant influence with their combined 70 million members. the initiatives appear to be making significant headway. interfaith dialogue spans the government. like education and community support. The role of inequalities has a complex interplay with violence. The result is a perception of mounting tensions both within and between faiths. social and economic. and long-term development assistance and capacity building. and other faith-inspired and secular organizations. providing refugee assistance and trauma care. faith institutions. combined with actions targeted at specific groups. NGOs. More significant is the substantial overlap among different categories of work. More extreme segments of most faith traditions draw on popular anger about perceived social injustice and group exclusion. The growing set of activities under the heading of “peacebuilding” focus particularly on peace education. A vicious cycle can result. which have incorporated many elements of different traditions and have prided themselves on living side by side. Again.
Faith-inspired organiza- Faith-inspired organizations play significant if hard to measure roles in education across much of Southeast Asia. with examples found today in the Mekong region. cooperation. While it is increasingly appreciated within international health circles that faith-inspired organizations provide significant health services. the active sex industry. Indigenous healers continue to play a role as well. 17 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS between the mounting demand for care and that readily available to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups is increasingly apparent. working specifically at the community level. Southern China. tions have contributed to several of the region’s successful family planning programs. and partnership arrangements among faith-inspired organizations and governments. NGOs. Laos. All of the major faiths offer education through different types of institutions and in very different forms. quality. especially in filling gaps where the government is unable or has failed to provide adequate education to its population. though limited mapping and coordination makes it difficult to know the true scope. and in devout religious societies. and international organizations vary significantly by country. is difficult to come by. What emerges from this preliminary review is both a significant continuing health agenda among the major faiths (for example the Buddhist focus on meditation as a foundation for overall spiritual. and physical health) and a wide array of specific health interventions that are part of the community and national programs of faith-inspired organizations (for example numerous HIV/AIDS programs. the education landscape and challenges differ substantially by country. which work with monks and nuns. urbanization. teaching about HIV/AIDS and how to avoid high-risk behavior.13 and specific interventions like the neo-natal resuscitation and wheelchair programs run by the Church of Latter Day Saints).Health challenges differ significantly by country and region across Southeast Asia. this preliminary review found numerous examples where faith-inspired run education plays important roles. inter alia. data on the range and scope of their involvement (as is the case with most sectors where faith-inspired organizations work). Mongolia. engaging monks in the Mekong region in HIV prevention. malaria. major facilities like the Sihanouk Hospital Center for Hope in Cambodia. and Thailand). Faith-inspired organizations have been most visible in some public health campaigns and in the response to HIV/AIDS. to complete religious instruction. and role. for example in the impact of epidemic diseases. polio. and Bhutan) and Buddhism for Development in Cambodia. data for Southeast Asia that would answer questions about how much are not available. In such situations. While it is generally appreciated at the international level that faith-inspired organizations are significant actors in the education sector and should be more engaged at the policy level. impact. and tuberculosis. Cambodia. Coordination. The missing knowledge about quantity. and conflict all contribute to health concerns. Major health challenges include HIV/AIDS. as well as general care for common illnesses and maternal and child health. Education | 2010 . Furthermore. where education and basic services are limited (notable examples exist in Cambodia.14 National Buddhist NGOs have developed to engage monks in health imperatives. Monks are working directly with international organizations. Vietnam. and reach of faith-run health services makes it difficult to engage these actors in both policy discussions and programming for priority interventions for poorly served populations. Pagoda-based care and monk engagement in health care has historically been active throughout Buddhist societies in Asia. migration. Burma [Myanmar]. natural disasters. as reliable coordination or mapping mechanisms are limited. Their services are particularly important in rural areas. particularly at the rural community level. mental. an example is the UNICEF supported Buddhist Leadership Initiative. Laos. where indigenous faith beliefs remain prevalent and are syncretic with the larger religious traditions. the Sangha Metta Project (active in Thailand. the content of education varies from essentially secular-style instruction following government mandated curriculum. with numerous points in between. Despite these challenges. Human trafficking. faith-inspired leaders have collaborated with the government (as has been the case in Indonesia) to promote health initiatives and clarify misunderstandings among their faith-group adherents. where trust of the government may be weak. making blanket policy generalizations about faith-inspired education rather perilous. Region-wide health imperatives also are significant—witness the SARS and H1N1 crises.
and scope of education vary widely and is largely unmeasured and not publicized. or individuals to choose voluntarily a path that puts them at risk of trafficking. orphanages. Buddhist universities are found in several countries in Southeast Asia. Malaysia. Most. both for society as a whole and for the individual trafficked. and madrasah) are found in most Muslim majority regions and play a central role in education in Muslim societies. They are active 18 . including boarding schools. Trafficking takes many forms. and increased government involvement in faith-inspired education institutions (particularly in Malaysia). gender inequality. both national and from abroad. A quite wide spectrum of organizations with faith links have come to play significant roles in the global effort to combat human trafficking. Islamic boarding schools at the primary and secondary level (known as pesantren [Indonesia]. In Thailand as well. raising similar questions. BERKLEY CENTER | Human Trafficking Southeast Asia is a region of special concern to the community fighting contemporary human trafficking. with both stricter forms of Islam (with influence from the Arab world) affecting in some cases the character of education and the religious and political perspectives of students. In Buddhist societies pagoda-based education was the historic center for education and remains important today in many areas. and transit region for trafficked persons. where Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama report that they reach over one million students at all levels of education. and Saudi Arabia. quality. The range of educational institutions varies. though not all those involved. pondok [Malaysia and southern Thailand]. corruption.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Faith-inspired organization run education is historically perceived as reaching out to the poor and marginalized in society. are minors. secondary. migration. destination. perhaps the most prolific in Thailand. but there is a special spotlight on Islamic education. where Christian schools operate in non-Christian majority locations and enroll non-Christian students. increased tourism. This applies to secular and faith institutions. Best known is for sexual exploitation. It is. Estimates of the number of trafficked persons in Southeast Asia vary significantly. Some students travel to study in. universities. Islamic education. impunity. A challenge facing schools of all faith beliefs is a lack of rigorous evaluation of the quality of instruction. generally. and some operate free of charge. The most extensive system of Islamic schools is in Indonesia. An important phenomenon in Southeast Asia is transnational education and educational exchange. The region is an origin. undergoing substantial change. a nagging concern and challenge surrounding Christian education. Kuwait. natural disasters. however. but different forms of bonded labor are also important. Proselytization is. some teaching a stricter version of Islam than has been traditionally present. Christian schools in Southeast Asia are widespread (though mapping is limited) and run by myriad organizations. A host of socio-economic factors lead families to sell or traffic minors. reaching over a half million students. Funds from the Arab world support Islamic boarding schools. and university levels. This trend has raised concerns about fundamentalist education and its effect on traditional societies and cultures that have lived in harmony for many centuries. however. but most agree only a small share of those affected are currently reached by aid organizations. trade schools.15 The effects of human trafficking are wide-ranging. these include poverty. tends to be better documented and more centralized than Buddhist education. as they are often perceived as providing a higher quality education compared to the government system. They attract local students of different faiths. the Ministry of Education supports Islamic (and Buddhist) education outside of the national government system. Many children in orphanages are not technically orphans but are sent by their parents to receive an education. and primary and secondary schools. though recent discussions surrounding this review highlight that many of these schools are increasingly forced to charge fees. though the content. and social marginalization. It is closely related to challenges and rising global social tensions facing Islamic madrasahs and the content of their education. particularly in rural areas. Islamic faith-inspired education is well established (particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia) and in many cases is recognized by the government as a parallel system to public education at the primary. among others. who are often educated in Christian ethics and moral beliefs.
Human trafficking as a transnational issue has particular significance in Southeast Asia and requires more effective cooperation. the Khmer Rouge largely wiped out Buddhist influence on society. some groups are concerned that its “cowboy” style and focus on political visibility may undermine broader efforts. Human trafficking is a transnational issue that crosses national and regional boundaries in Southeast Asia. and shelter). particularly in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse.18 International Justice Mission. Expanding communications technologies and increasing transnational religious links. because there are disagreements among different groups about the most appropriate and effective ways to combat the problems of trafficking. however. This work has brought about surprising and often very constructive alliances among institutions across quite distinct political spectrums (described by Allen Hertzke in Freeing God’s Children). has brought intense international attention to brothels in Cambodia through its highly publicized raids alongside Cambodia police. as a phenomenon and in its response. are hard to come by. an American faith-inspired legal NGO. 19 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . Gender roles also play a significant role in victim response. or creating increased hardship surrounding their assimilation back into society. efforts within “sending” communities to combat the factors that lead women especially to leave their homes. faith-inspired organizations can be instrumental in helping to shape constructive opinions and norms. It is also more broadly driven by efforts to change the underlying systems at work. Work by faith-inspired organizations on human trafficking. resourcefulness.16 In Muslim societies as well. especially young girls involuntarily trafficked and trapped in virtual slavery. The response often involves differing levels of social stigmatization. Those most actively involved. cultural emphasis on purity and virginity. The latter include the fragmentation of efforts and lack of coherent reflection and consensus on strategic approaches. reach of American Christian church networks in particular.at local. and of some of the pitfalls. is unique. underpin common activism around trafficking. Each country and local context. and work within legal frameworks to bring perpetrators to justice and change legal systems. which brings out the moral dimensions and builds on faith communications assets and networks. regional. prompting some victims not to identify themselves to aid organizations. shelters. national. including quiet compassionate support of victims (including livelihood training. regional. economic opportunity. It has also at times given rise to controversies. Local cultural norms. The United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong subregion (UNIAP) has facilitated a consultative process called COMMIT that works specifically on cooperation across borders. between countries with at times contentious relationships to strengthen a regional response to trafficking. with differing faith beliefs and historical contexts shaping how and to what extent religion and faith-inspired organizations engage and shape views on human trafficking.19 The mix of on the ground efforts to work with communities and individuals and high visibility international advocacy offer an example of both the strengths of faith-inspired work. though similarities exist. many though not all with faith links. and global levels should be harnessed more effectively. in the interests of social justice. trauma counseling. both of which can affect responses to human trafficking. for example.17 The vitality. and growing church membership in some countries ensures publicity and support on key issues including human trafficking. informed by religious beliefs in many cases. undermining the role of the family unit and respect for elders. advocacy on human rights grounds for governmental and intergovernmental action. creating opportunities for increased cooperation. as well as generating a host of sensitive debates. and international levels. national. has political dimensions at the national. A 2010 report of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking suggests that the enormous potential role faith-inspired organizations can play at the local. however. regardless of the circumstances that brought them there. contribute to the societal response to victims of trafficking. at an international level. and international levels and their work takes many forms. alongside active involvement of religious lobbies in some countries (especially the United States). describe their work as driven by compassion for the victims. can affect people’s views on those who have worked in the sex industry. Overall data on levels of engagement. In Cambodia for example.
Faith-inspired development practitioners point to the environment and climate change as topics of general consensus and shared commitment. Long-standing programs of the Alliance of Religions for Conservation (ARC) include workshops. BERKLEY CENTER | Governance and Transparency Southeast Asia. Religion and culture enter. all put considerable pressure on the already fragile environment. disaster relief. and Burma (Myanmar) in particular. governments. Nonetheless. Their efforts remain rather decentralized and largely unmeasured.Environment and Natural Disasters Southeast Asia has one of the most fragile and diverse natural habitats in the world. confronts a wide range of governance challenges. Generally. and long-term mitigation. Buddhist leaders speak forcefully and often to great effect about the importance of respect for nature and harmony within the ecosystem. stressing the importance of a systematic and concerted climate change response. but contains 80 percent of the world’s biological diversity. faith-inspired actors are particularly active in the response to natural disasters and climate change issues. While in many ways faith-inspired organizations are an integral and largely indistinguishable part of the region’s civil society in terms of stance on environmental issues. noting that the effects of climate change have ramifications not only on the region’s developing countries but on developed countries as well—climate induced migration being one example among many. through various paths. into both the overall governance climate (for example in shaping community values) and into some specific debates. with potential for increased interfaith collaboration. they can and often do bring special perspectives tied to both spiritual teachings and their lived experience. Rapid industrialization and agricultural expansion. Its long coastline is home to millions who are at risk from frequent severe weather and the adverse effects of climate change. prone to frequent earthquakes. from there. the Philippines. To cite an example. Muslim ideals influence laws and approaches to governance. Socially engaged Buddhist organizations engage through individual monks working to preserve the forest through advocacy work. a number of experiences highlight direct and constructive engagement between faith-inspired organizations and government/secular actors. particularly when it moves towards . to a degree. and mudslides. Many faith-inspired organizations have taken up the cause. religion is tending to be a more visible part of the public discourse. a recent interfaith climate manifesto in Sweden and numerous programs during the December 2009 Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne. like every world region. revival of ancient teachings (as in Mongolia). and training. so that consistent policy level engagement is a challenge. With increased access to communications technology. both as advocates and activists. as well as rising sea levels. for example information campaigns. and “ordination” of individual trees to symbolize their sacred character. Australia. are two notable examples. An area of intense activity is disaster response. Some challenges are general to contemporary law and administration and the evolving role of the state. As illustrations. and about harming it as something that should be prevented. and local faith-institutions. including advocacy. advocacy and work to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and unsustainable develop20 G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y ment projects. and in the Philippines Catholic leaders are vocal in urging public participation. while some are imbued with the history and culture of each country and. Large organizations including World Vision Australia and Muslim Aid are engaged in government level advocacy. International interfaith conferences have involved faith-inspired development practitioners from across Southeast Asia. Faith-inspired organizations. In Indonesia. cyclones. and. are increasingly active in voicing concerns about environmental degradation and climate change. the region overall. with numerous examples of cooperation between international organizations. The region has only 3 percent of the world’s land area. both in their operational roles and speaking to their spiritual traditions. faith-engagement on development policy for good governance remains a sensitive topic in many countries. in Indonesia and Malaysia.20 though its influence and reach vary widely depending on the context. It is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. tsunamis. the current Thai crisis involves questions about the Buddhist heritage in Thailand and its links to the authority of the monarchy. along with resulting population shifts.
” Ateneo University. the ruling military junta retains tight control and influence over the Buddhist sangha. senators. Graft and corruption is a sin that cries to heaven especially if it is committed against the poor people. 2009 at a good governance summit in Makati City. In Indonesia faith-inspired organizations are more visible and active players on issues at the center of public policy debates. activities are often not publicized. Angel Lagdameo. though there are numerous examples where organizations are strong and effective advocates even in the face of government opposition and repression. There are active Box 1 2010 Filipino Catholic Church Fights for Good Governance and Against Corruption In the run-up to the 2010 presidential elections in the Philippines. On May 10. urged their constituents to push for good governance and transparency. Groups that enjoy tacit support of the government. and nourished by a system where Filipinos proactively and responsibly participate in the mainstream political life.2009. archbishop of Jaro and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. From http://www. especially promoting honesty and focus on the poor and excluded. but. Catholics stated publicly that they are concerned about issues of governance and corruption.advocacy. he writes that “Graft and Corruption is an evil that affects many levels and areas of life.edu/index. On May 5. vice-president. On his blog.” and that “Leadership in governance starts with leaders as citizens. and public officials. The conference focused on: how local government officials have successfully empowered their constituents. should be anchored in grassroots economic empowerment. In Burma (Myanmar) for example. 2010. as well as collaboration with secular development actors. how they have partnered with civil society organizations for better public service delivery and protection of disadvantaged groups. These efforts represent important faith-inspired approaches to promoting good governance. the sangha-oriented Buddhist organizations in Thailand for example. how they have enhanced transparency and social accountability. some faith-inspired organizations quietly promote good governance. as advocacy arouses government suspicion. in practice their roles and record are mixed. engaged in governance issues through a wide range of often complex relationships. he said.ateneo. The Archbishop emphasized the need for strong values in governance. held a World Bank sponsored conference on good governance from November 4 to 6. In Cambodia. strengthened by an effective political system where accountability and the rule of law prevail. the Catholic Church. Religious communities and networks are tightly restricted and monitored in some countries. limiting their formal capacity to influence governance norms policies. Governance. nonetheless. like poor drivers. and how all these were used to make growth work for the poor. good leaders produce good citizens.php?p=120&type=2&sec=29&aid=7589 21 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | . the Philippines ranks relatively low (139/182) on a ranking of the world’s most corrupt countries. as a reported 75 percent of the eligible 50 million Filipinos voted for a new president. Responsible citizens produce good leaders. while effective partnerships to bring tangible improvements in governance are fairly rare. According to Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perception index. law-makers. are often less involved in working actively for better governance and may support the status quo. Close relationships with governments in some instances dampen criticism and advocacy. and the malice of corruption in society. along with other Christian and civil society organizations. home of the largest Jesuit community in the Philippines. Mixed attitudes of governments towards civil society roles color the way in which relationships with faith-inspired groups akin to NGOs tend to evolve. spoke about the need to reshape Philippine society to promote a common good.21 Faith actors are. While some faith leaders would like to see religions in a vanguard in advocating for good governance. where corruption and lack of transparency are widely acknowledged as challenges at all levels of government.
Positive examples include Buddhist movements working largely through peaceful social protest and criticism in both Thailand and Cambodia. Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah. and efficient and honest administration.Islamic political parties ranging from those advocating an Islamic state. Of particular interest are the roles that religious institutions and communities play in working for peace. The largest religious organizations. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y 22 . by faith or community within faith traditions. have initiatives that are explicitly designed to promote good governance and government accountability. and by country. accountability. Capacity weaknesses and a lack of well adapted systems are partly responsible. to those that aim to infuse democracy with Islamic values. and the Catholic peacebuilding movement in Philippines. at different moments in time. There are cases where religiously labeled and led political parties are pivotal actors. The roles of faith-inspired communities and organizations in pressing for and supporting political reforms also varies widely. Faith-inspired organizations themselves acknowledge many challenges within their own institutions in terms of transparency.
23 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 .
with secular organizations. Indonesia is comprised of 13. 4) consultative democracy. and “traditionalists. During World War II. with a Shia population of between one and three million. he implemented an ideology dubbed “guided democracy” along with martial law. ending Dutch rule but continuing foreign occupation. and other Christian). the Japanese invaded and later occupied Indonesia.22 Most Indonesian Muslims practice Sunni Islam. Hindus remain a majority to this day. The country sections summarize information on the country contexts where faithinspired organization operate.” who adhere to strict scriptural interpretations (though some participants at the December 2009 consultation in Cambodia suggested that the distinction between the two strains is steadily diminishing). | 2010 . maintaining control until World War II. and Islam into the newly independent state. while political and historical particularities shape the environment in which faith-inspired organizations operate. 2) humanitarianism.000 kilometers. and with governments. largely rural population.” who emphasize personal It was during the 16th century that European traders first came to the archipelago in search of spices. strung across 5. the Netherlands formally established the Colony of the Dutch East Indies in 1800. and specific examples of faith-inspired organizations that are working independently. and 2 percent Hindu. it was established as the dominant religion practiced by most of the population with the notable exception of the island of Bali. approximately 88 percent are Muslim. The lists of organizations are far from exhaustive. as well as smaller organizations known to be making a substantial difference in the communities where they work. The number working in the region is easily in the thousands. and when the company went bankrupt. Islam first arrived in Indonesia during the 11th century.Part 3 Country Case Studies T Indonesia Historical Overview The world’s fourth most populous. the challenges they face. By the 16th century. There. 6 percent Protestant. and the country with the largest Muslim population. The country’s Muslim population divides roughly along two differing strains: “modernists. To balance different political factions. traditional indigenous religions. Indonesian nationalism. third largest democracy. across faiths. interpretation of the Qur’an while embracing modern learning and concepts. Seeking to incorporate elements of Marxism. Jewish. Sukarno established the unique “five principles” of Pancasila: 1) belief in one supreme God. the nationalist leader Sukarno (born Kusno Sosrodihardjo) declared independence and was appointed president. 3 percent Roman Catholic. The Dutch established the Dutch East India Company.700 islands. 25 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS he following sections examine in greater detail the involvement of faith-inspired organizations in Southeast Asia. Local realties and contexts have a strong influence on the range and scope of their activities. Of its roughly 245 million. Those organizations listed are the most well known and active. with about one percent a wide range of other faiths (Buddhist. 3) nationalism expressed in the unity of Indonesia. part of a pattern of increasing trade. despite the Netherlands’ attempt to regain control of the country. and 5) social justice. as the number of faith-inspired organizations involved in development work is vast. After the Allied victory in 1945.
Buddhism. and Confucianism. shortly after the devastating tsunami in 2004. Proselytizing is strictly forbidden in The Guidelines for the Propagation of Religion. which are explicitly forbidden. In the area of education. 28 The government. with the support of the United States ousted Sukarno and became president in 1968. notably the Council of Indonesian Ulama (MUI). is widely seen as a central challenge for Indonesia. Religion and Government Indonesia’s constitution states that “the nation is based upon belief in one supreme God. the government does recognize this right. have faced discrimination. Development has been uneven across Indonesia’s geographic regions. The Jakarta government granted this right after a struggle with the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM). During his tenure. however. Local legislators and large parts of the population. at all levels. effective teaching methods. inefficient systems as well as inadequacies in teacher qualifications. Indonesia is hampered by a lack of effective procedures and accountability in institutions across most sectors. Muslim religious leaders. heresy and blasphemy. with substantial international community support. to strengthen moderate madrasahs. Many Christians and Christian organizations report official discrimination by the government. though other BERKLEY CENTER | 26 . The World Bank’s National Program for Community Empowerment Mandiri (PNPM). Indonesia underwent an era of economic growth. particularly in overall economic growth. instituting strict anti-terrorism laws. The notable exceptions to the freedom of religion are traditionalist and animist religions of Indonesia. which are particularly important to the education of girls (who make up a large part of madrasahs’ student bodies). Indonesia has relatively low health and infrastructure development indicators. ranking 111 out of 182 countries measured.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y The then-head of the army.26 Development Challenges Indonesia has made significant strides in development. among others.27 The World Bank highlights that in addition to limits imposed by financial resources. still face multiple development challenges. This ushered in an authoritarian New Order government.” Generally.30 Corruption in the public sector. The government requires all citizens to note their religion on state-issued identity cards. the Asian Financial Crisis had devastating effects on Indonesia’s economy in 1997.734. its Human Development index is 0. the government recognizes only six religions: Islam.” Aceh is the only province that can legally implement Sharia law (non-Muslims are exempt). notably Christian minorities.25 Some reports suggest that taxes are higher for building churches than they are for mosques. is investing heavily in the Ministry of Education’s Strategic Plan (RENSTRA). for example trouble registering marriages and births. Indonesia has moved quite steadily towards more democratic systems since then. It does. and many localities will only accept one of the six recognized religions. General Suharto.” while at the same time. oppose many of the laws derived from strict interpretations of Sharia and elected more moderate Muslim legislators to office in 2009. it accords “all persons the right to worship according to their own religion or belief. Catholicism. Officially. In 2004. and community involvement have all adversely affected the quality of basic education (despite a generally impressive 94 percent enrollment rate for 7–12 year olds). and Suharto resigned in 1998. however. and clearly falls within the lower middle income category of nations today. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became Indonesia’s first directly elected president.23 Though the government is officially secular. the government cracked down on hard-line Muslim groups.29 USAID specifically provides support. which follows from the Kecamatan Development Program begun in 1998. especially technical assistance. although religious minorities. Following the 2002 nightclub attack in Bali and the 2003 and 2009 hotel bombings in Jakarta. and article 156 of the criminal code describes proselytization as “spreading hatred. In 2007 almost half of the country’s population lived below or only slightly above the national poverty line. however. school management. cities have passed legislation restricting the rights of women and certain religious minorities. Protestantism. Hinduism.24 are given due notice by the government when drafting legislation and formulating policy. these schools typically suffer from a lack of resources and weak capacity.
putting the island archipelago at a heightened risk of extreme weather and rising sea levels. Deforestation contributes to climate change as well. services. 27 The Government. NU released a fatwa advocating “family welfare.33 Recently. consequently displacing small farmers and communities from their land. Islamic development organizations such as Muslim Aid have advocacy programs that promote Islamic views on the environment. The Ministry of Religious Affairs worked with religious organizations to shape the message of family planning in a way that was understandable to the Indonesian population.35 More recently. Religious Institutions. To address some of these issues. though the struggle to harmonize rapid industrialization and sustainable development has proven arduous. the government was largely unsuccessful in its campaign. as opposed to family planning. with many large scale industries vying for timber. NU and Aisyiyah (young women’s association within Muhammadiyah) were central to helping implement a joint Indonesian government/USAID immunization program against polio. each realizing the benefits of the other. It was not until NU approved of the program that it was effectively implemented. In 1985. Rapid industrialization has put pressure on the country’s extensive forests. Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). Currently. though as groups began to reach out to international networks. USAID works with Muhammadiyah and Aisyiah (a major Islamic women’s social activist organization) to promote the principle of democratic pluralism as an “Islamic value. Compared to secular organizations during this time. Muhammadiyah also worked with USAID on a community-based public health response to the outbreak of avian influenza in mid-2006. In March 2003. and an increasing rate of HIV/STD infection.is one of the largest-scale community development schemes in the world designed to promote good governance and alleviate poverty. Muhammadiyah has integrated HIV prevention and stigma reduction materials into certain curricula at Islamic middle schools. In the initial phases of the family planning campaign. as well as a related lack of capacity in the health sector. civil society and religious groups began to flourish under the new title of Self-Reliance Groups.32 In general. and information. and NGOs Suharto’s regime discouraged both religious and secular NGOs. the kyais (experts in Islam) stating it was against the will of God. the New Order regime passed the Mass Organizations Law that required NGOS to file reports so that the government could monitor their activities. these problems stem from lack of access to adequate health facilities.”31 as part of increasing citizen participation in local governance throughout Indonesia. campaigned aggressively against contraception and family planning programs. the government and religious organizations have generally strong relations. religious organizations often seemed able to accomplish more in terms of social and economic development. Health challenges include relatively high infant and under-five mortality. Suharto slowly improved relations with modernist Muslims and went on hajj to Mecca in 1991. fearing that they would incite anti-government sentiment or become too powerful (particularly those advocating agrarian reform and human rights).34 Furthermore. a high incidence of neo-natal and reproductive health problems for women. With the United States. the National Family Planning Coordinating Committee took on an ambitious program.” or kelaurga maslahah. the environment and climate change has attracted attention as a priority development challenge. At the same time. During the 1970s. one being Suharto’s realization that many government policies required religious leaders’ sanction to be effective. Two examples highlight the importance of religious support for public policy measures. There is a clear recognition that community development strategies succeed best when done in close consultation with local religious leaders. Coupled with many Indonesians distrust of the United States and fears that family planning was a creative way of stemming Muslim growth. The government appreciates the reach and deep roots of religious organizations in society and their ability to influence policies. Observers offer a number of reasons for this warming of relations. support from religious organizations is often crucial to successfully implementing development projects. Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization. ant. the government became increasingly intoler- BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . Suharto’s New Order emphasized birth control and family planning as integral components of its development programs.
some communities expressed concerns about vaccines being developed using pork derivatives. NU operates both secular and religious schools: 8. Similarly. focusing on a range of development issues including disaster recovery. 44 universities and 23 academies/ colleges. There are two different styles of schools in the Muhammadiyah system. whose 30 million members are mostly modernists. the late Abdurrahman Wahid. The four districts of Madura Island were identified by Indonesia’s National Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) for support under the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Indonesia Immunization Project (MCC/IIP). There are about 13. 197 elementary schools. In 2003. In addition to their heavy role in education. Muhammadiyah operates over 12.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y polio appeared in Indonesia. and the majority of large organizations provide assistance to people irrespective of faith or creed. notably in their involvement and sponsorship of educational institutions. many organizations are involved in long-term healthcare and sanitation projects. Despite some religious tensions. pesantrens also provide religious education. 378 junior high schools. Most collaborate with secular and Muslim groups as well as with other Christian organizations. and outer islands of Indonesia. Though there are numerous examples of partnerships and some degree of cooperation. In addition to the standard academic curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education. A large number of Christian organizations work in Indonesia. and women’s rights. With only between 1 and 2 percent of the country’s GDP going to education (according to USAID). is one of the largest and most active. Muslim elders confirmed that vaccines were halal and used Friday prayers and Mosque loudspeakers to encourage families to immunize their children. in 2004. World Vision also has an active chapter in the country and is actively engaged in interfaith work with Muslim organizations. whose 40 million members are mostly traditionalists. the government maintains tight oversight of religious organizations. and 212 Islamic senior high schools. former leader of Muhammadiyah Ahmad Syafi’i Maarif founded the Maarif Institute for Culture and Humanity with a core mission to develop interfaith dialogue. especially in rural areas. founded the Wahid Institute. During the campaign. microfinance development.000 pesantrens. or Islamic boarding schools.000 schools throughout the country.37 Muhammadiyah’s followers are largely concentrated in the urban areas of Java.36 Faith-inspired organizations have a central role in providing education. a Dutch Catholic organization. NU members are found primarily in the more rural areas of Java. Nadlhatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah Two Muslim religious organizations dominate the realm of social and charitable organizations in Indonesia: Muhammadiyah. Both organizations have far-ranging social development programs. Many provide primarily disaster relief for large-scale natural disasters.861 Islamic elementary schools. Catholic Relief Services. which among other goals aims to develop dialogue between spiritual and political leaders in the Western world and Muslim societies.522 kindergartens. the involvement of both organizations is clearly crucial. for 28 . in collaboration with Caritas. throughout Indonesia. Cordaid. those primarily secular in curriculum. largely on the island of Madura. international Christian organizations seem able to work well in the country. approximately one million Muslim and non-Muslim students. 211 senior high schools. also partners with numerous local Christian. notably with Muhammadiyah. both house women’s groups and youth movements and operate health clinics. healthcare. but others are committed to longer-term development goals. 733 Islamic junior high schools.38 NU is also indirectly involved in the majority of Indonesia’s Islamic boarding schools. and Nahdlatul Ulama. former President of Indonesia and of NU. including non-Muslim organizations. Prominent figures in both organizations have worked to promote interfaith cooperation on development projects. and Muslim organizations. MCC/IIP partnered with NU and Aisyiyah to conduct social mobilization in support of routine immunization. BERKLEY CENTER | International Faith-Inspired Organizations International Christian organizations implement a substantial amount of overseas aid. 3. In addition to disaster relief and recovery. and religious pesantrens which typically include religious curriculum. secular. Both NU and Muhammadiyah stress the importance of pluralism and religious tolerance. Sumatra.
and foreign religious organizations must obtain permission from the Ministry of Religious Affairs to provide any type of assistance (in-kind. A number of organizations. Many faith-inspired organizations have components or projects specifically devoted to women and gender rights. In 2004. 29–31 May 2008. particularly through pesantrens. the Fahmina Institute has become a large and influential organization. often through the lens of Islam. particularly in Aceh and other areas where Sharia law has been implemented. In Aceh and Sumatra. Indonesia is seen as a leader in pioneering women’s rights.pdf UNESCO Regional Conference on Inclusive Education: Major policy issues in the Asia-Pacific region Bali. For example. though legally they must consent. Indonesia. for example. and teachers of religion and the Qur’an are growing. Family law in Indonesia is largely governed by the Sharia-based family law for Muslims. Though proselytizing is strictly prohibited by law. Both NU and Muhammadiyah have active women’s groups dedicated to promoting women’s rights and involvement in the community. women’s participation in development and civil society must not conflict with their role in improving family welfare and education.unesco. and it is difficult to get divorced. obligations. The official State Ministry of Women’s Empowerment reported in 2004 that 90 percent of women and 25 percent of men experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Christian missionaries have been seen handing out Bibles along with disaster aid and relief supplies. a few Christian organizations still actively promote their religion within their aid programs. which outlined strict segregation of religious communities.Islamic Relief Indonesia has a large presence. It also challenges increasing collaboration and coordination among faith-inspired organizations. http://www. depriving women of some rights men enjoy. Some estimates show that slightly more than half of the roughly 5. Information from “Girls’ and Women’s Education in Indonesia” UNESCO Bangkok Office: http://www.ibe. and prohibitions against celebrating a religious holiday or entering a house of worship that did not reflect one’s Women’s Rights and Faith-Inspired Organizations In the Muslim world. or financial) to local religious groups. there is a large gender gap within the governmental school system with girls dropping out of junior and high schools at much higher rates than their male counterparts. The numbers of female kyias. At the same time. The disaster management committee activates immediate responders in the disasters. penalties for interreligious marriage.7 million students in madrasahs are girls. Foreign missionaries must obtain religious worker visas. most notably in West Sumatra on account of frequent earthquakes and other natural disasters.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Inclusive_Education/Reports/bali_08/ 29 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 Box 2 . many women say it is difficult to refuse their husbands taking more than one wife. Still. are devoted to exploring women’s rights and issues. as seen in the aftermath of earthquakes in 2009. Such activities can create tensions with faith-inspired and secular development organizations.org/fileadmin/user_upload/appeal/gender/indonesia. the government introduced the Religious Harmony Bill. for in some communities. personnel. scholars. Founded initially to explore and promote women’s rights in pesantrens. Women throughout the country can report cases of unfair treatment. Muslim Aid has also done substantial work on both disaster relief and conflict related programming in Aceh. and opportunities. and pesantrens are increasingly focused on promoting female empowerment through religious teaching.unescobkk.39 Interfaith Cooperation and Conflict Interreligious cooperation among Muslim and Christian NGOs has increased markedly over the past few decades with the Indonesian government recently embracing a more receptive stance. and within the communities themselves. State and national law aver that women and men have equal rights. development aid and relief have become synonymous with religious missionaries. one being The Fahmina Institute.
2. are taking active steps to encourage interfaith harmony. income inequality—the richest 10 percent have 20 times that of the poorest 10 percent). Although its characteristics differ by region. placing it as a lower-middle income country. 30 .45 up from 48 million in 1980 and over 66 million in 1990). Issues that contribute to rural poverty include: inadequate expenditure on rural infrastructure (infrastructure represents a small portion of the Philippines’ GDP. coconut oil. In the face of violence. many religious groups.983. After weathering two successive colonial regimes and the repressive dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986. marking one of the first occasions that Muslim groups not only actively addressed interfaith issues in the public sphere.8 percent in 2009. Force of the Philippine Masses. while its main exports are semiconductors and electronic products. 68 percent do not have access to land other than their residence. in contrast to the rest of Indonesia. who also founded the Wahid Institute to “seed plural and peaceful Islam. In response. Tensions have also flared in Bali (notably the 2002 nightclub bombing in the tourist district of Kuta). and fishing. GDP has fluctuated somewhat in recent years. Struggle of Filipino Democrats. petroleum products. People’s Reform Party. In 2006. with prominent parties including Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y own religion. NU and Muhammadiyah joined the Council of Churches in condemning the bill. The country has a very active multiparty political system.44 and high population growth (the country’s projected 2009 population was 91. but did so alongside Christian organizations. Muhammadiyah and World Vision set an example of Muslim and Christian organizations cooperating closely around development programs.42 a lack of high quality social services in rural areas (for example. notably on the island of Sulawesi in Maluku and North Maluku. civil society in the Philippines today is vibrant and dynamic.43 inequitable land and income distribution (of those working in agriculture. where there have been cases of interethnic and religious conflict over the past decade. Liberal Party. The Pura Dalem Jawa Hindu Temple in Bunutin Village for example. offers space for Muslim ablutions and has hosted numerous interfaith exchanges. cultural. Nacionalista Party. religious organizations united under the banner of the Advocates for Intercommunity Relations and convinced community leaders to lobby the Ministry of Religious Affairs to reject the bill. and fruits.” As previously noted. wood products. 20 percent of medical technicians. is 90 percent Hindu. as a symbol of unity and common humanity. Muslims and Christians have historically tense relations in some parts of the country.300. founded by Abdurrahman Wahid. footwear. which. Distinctive in its religious demographics (particularly in the context of Asia).000. copper products. environmental problems. and armed conflicts that have persisted for decades.46 BERKLEY CENTER | Philippines The Philippines is extraordinarily dynamic in its social. along with the government. pharmaceuticals. and 5 percent Muslim (concentrated in Mindanao). civil society. poverty in the Philippines is predominantly rural. and United Opposition. chemicals. garments. petroleum refining. transport equipment. an estimated 33 percent of the population lived below the Philippines’ poverty threshold. The Philippines’ main industries are electronics assembly. garments. former leader of Muhammadiyah Ahmad Syafi Maarif founded the Maarif Institute for the fundamental purpose of developing interfaith dialogue. Socio-Economic Background The Philippines’ nearly 92 million people are approximately 81 percent Roman Catholic. and 30 percent of nurses practice in rural areas). 12 percent Christian of other denominations. it has the world’s third largest Catholic population and a significant Muslim minority. and the pace of growth is down from a high of 7. painted with World Vision colors. is engaged with these issues in ways that show promise for sustainable. positive advances. food processing. Nationalist People’s Coalition. dentists and pharmacists. Thus. only 10 percent of doctors.8 percent in 2002).40 NU has its own International Peace Forum.41 Despite these positive developments. it disproportionately affects the more rural southern part of the country. and political landscape. in celebration of centuries of both Muslim and Hindu presence on the island.3 percent in 2007 to 3. Though the country still struggles with poverty. including faith-inspired organizations. Its per capita GDP is $3. Muhammadiyah recently built a school along with World Vision and posted the Muhammadiyah symbol on the school.
The conflict has contributed ficking from Mindanao. In 2008. t h e m a j o r i t y re l i g i o n t o d a y. but the situation is even more pronounced in Mindanao. a series of seminars-workshops on interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence in communities and schools that encourages participation in the government-sponsored Mindanao Week of Peace. President Arroyo asked the BUC to direct a “deep consultative ➤ 2010 to an increase in internal and international human traf- 31 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | . the majority of the Muslim population is concentrated in the southern island of Mindanao. founded the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) in 1996 to advance peace and interreligious understanding between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao. and most Muslims (or “Moros.Religion in the Philippines C a t h o l i c i s m . The overall dropout rate for Mindanao is 23 percent. At the recommendation of the government and the MNLF.000 people have been killed. the BUC has held 35 dialogues on common concerns about the peace process in Mindanao and related themes. Many native Philippine Protestant denominations tend to be restorationist and non-Trinitarian in outlook. the largest indigenous religious organization in the country. Males are more disadvantaged than their female counterparts in access to education throughout the Philippines. i s “Philippinized” (a term coined by historian John Leddy Phelan). and nearly 2 million have been displaced. The conflict has contributed to difficulties in education. and the World Food Program Reports that over 50 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line. Box 3 Mindanao: Conflict and Development One of the foremost development challenges facing the Philippines is the conflict in Mindanao. as is reported by the United States Department of State. the quality of life in the conflict-affected provinces of Mindanao is the worst in the Philippines.” a term employed by Spanish colonizers which Philippine Muslims now use to selfidentify) belong to ethnic minority groups. with emphasis on certain faith aspects that resonate with Philippine heritage. The development impact on society has been equally severe in areas including health. Faith-inspired organizations have played a particularly central role in responding to the conflict. many Catholic observances are blended with native folk traditions. The organization has issued joint statements calling for the government and Moro separatist organizations to work towards a constructive peace. Latin-Catholic traditions. education. often condemning specific acts of violence. Today. President of the Ulama League of the Philippines. Throughout more than three decades of conflict in the province. The stretching of health resources has been particularly acute for the pregnant and recent mothers among the displaced. Davao City Archbishop Fernando Capalla and Mahid Mutilan. According to the United Nations Development Program Human Development Report for 2008/2009. To date. more than 160. The BUC has facilitated the Imams-Priests-Pastors Dialogue. The Aglipayan Church. Those belonging to smaller Christian denominations constitute a significant proportion of the population. Some families in rural areas who have lost land and other economic means due to the conflict have turned to sending their young children out of their communities to be domestic workers. such as the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ). however. such as the fiesta celebrating the day of a town’s (or barangay) patron saint are central to the culture of many Filipinos. the highest in the Philippines.47 Islam is the oldest non-native religion in the Philippines and was introduced to the southern islands in 1350. particularly as adolescents in conflictaffected areas leave school early to provide for their families. claims 5 percent of the population. or Philippine Independent Church (which maintains full communion with the Episcopal Church of the United States). and economic development. Health concerns include a lack of adequate healthcare facilities and basic amenities such as clean drinking water and are compounded by forced displacement. where the incidence of child labor and recruitment into gangs is particularly high for boys.
nutrition. on March 16. and Soka Gakkai. religious organizations such as the Catholic Women’s Organization contributed to welfare efforts. Other international faith-inspired organizations working in Mindanao include: the Mennonite Central Committee. which pursued social reforms and equal rights for Filipinos under the Spanish colonial government. however. with established local coordinating bodies recognizing the intrinsic faith component to the conflict. the Philippines hosted the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development (under the auspices of the United Nations). Dr. With the rise of the communist movement in rural areas in the 1920s and 1930s. At the government level. and later some were established to oppose Spanish rule. functioning since 1992. Most welfare organizations in the Philippines during the colonial periods grew out of the Catholic Church and related religious orders. and the U. 2010. At the conference. G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y The Mindanao coalition of NGO networks (MINCODE— comprised of 12 NGO members) is one such mechanism. It is with these and subsequent agricultural and economic efforts by non-Catholic churches that rural development efforts truly began in the Philippines.48 Cofradías (religious brotherhoods) were established to fulfill broader social and community support functions. particularly Christianity. During the time of the American colonial government. capacity-building through seminars and workshops.” Religion. to implement a multifaceted interfaith program entitled “Building Darusalam (Peace Communities). Lutheran World Relief. Jesuit Refugee Service. interfaith community events. World Vision. Among the specific projects Ummah Fi Salam and SPI have undertaken jointly to address these issues have been interfaith workshops for low-income urban community groups. is regularly invoked by government leaders and is evident in public monuments such as the statue of the Virgin Mary that is part of the shrine to the Epifano de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) movement which ousted Ferdinand Marcos. Secretary of Foreign Affairs. The range of organizations working is vast.” funded by the British organization Christian Aid. peace education institutions and the integration of peace education into school curricula. sanitation programs.” One grassroots endeavor that has made particular strides in interfaith collaboration for peace and development is between the Muslim organizations Ummah BERKLEY CENTER Fi Salam (whose name means “Community for Peace”) and the Catholic organization Socio-Pastoral Institute (SPI). including: interfaith dialogue groups (grassroots and otherwise). 32 . Grassroots and local initiatives focusing on interfaith solutions to conflict and development are widespread and an integral component of the development strategy in Mindanao. Muslim Aid. the Church sought to directly engage peasant farmers’ social and economic plight in order to counter communist affiliation among this demographic. It helps fund a variety of activities. such as Women of Faith in Dialogue and the aforementioned BUC. attended by President Arroyo. Alberto Romulao. and networking for peacebuilding and economic development. and advocacy against housing demolition. State Department’s 2009 Religious Freedom Report on the Philippines stated that the government “generally respected religious freedom in practice. the World Conference of Religions for Peace. functioned primarily to serve the elite. alongside secular domestic organizations and American NGOs.S. human rights and community development advocacy. program works in the areas of interfaith dialogue.Box 3 (continued) process” to formulate a plan for enduring peace in Mindanao. these. and development programming aimed at engaging Christian and Muslim communities in projects together. led by the native intellectual vanguard. mass interfaith mobilizations in support of access to employment and services. | Faith and Public Life The Philippines constitution guarantees freedom of religion. we must institutionalize a program that will recognize grassroots [interfaith] initiatives. Adventist Development and Relief Agency. stated that “to broaden participation. support for impoverished Muslim families through leadership. Out of the cofradías grew the Propaganda Movement. community organizing. The Catholic Relief Services is one of the most engaged international faith-inspired organizations in addressing the conflict and its development impact. education. healthcare.
as well as forming the backbone of the “people power” movement. Working in concert with pressure exerted by reformist politicians. have been redistributed to 3 million rural poor households. with particularly active contributions from faith-inspired organizations. The Catholic Church has also taken a role in environmental action. In 1988. both international and national. 5. the Catholic hierarchy (led by Bishop Arturo Bastes and others) has been involved in protests opposing mining operations on the island of Rapu-Rapu and in the southern island of Mindanao. government records state that as of 2006. With the expiration of this law in 2008. the Catholic Church. civil society groups have secured the expropriation and redistribution of contested private estates to landless and near-landless peasants. NGOs are intermediaries between POs and the state. along with Catholic leaders. the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released an influential pastoral letter urging action to counter environmental degradation. In recent years. the Catholic Church hierarchy and Church-related organizations including the Institute on Church and Social Issues and the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development lent support to peasant organizations on agrarian reform advocacy. Organized groups in the Philippines fall into two legal categories: NGOs and communitybased organizations known as People’s Organizations (POs). the World Bank argues that. Basic Christian Communities (local groups that discuss and take action on their social concerns) organized by the Diocese of Boac began to protest the impacts on fishing and health caused by Marcopper Mining Company’s illegal dumping of tailings into Calancan Bay. the Philippines has achieved a significant level of partial land reform. and Agrarian Reform Civil society has had particular success in the Philippines in the area of agrarian reform. about two-fifths of the agricultural population. Justice and Peace organized a “Campaign for a Genuine Agrarian Reform Program. the Philippines has one of the most robust and advanced civil societies in the developing world. Faith. constituting about half of the country’s farmland. The country has more NGOs per capita than any other country in Asia.9 million hectares of private and public lands. and Development The Philippines is a host to myriad development actors. and civil initiative following the Marcos regime. Although the Arroyo administration has not been a strong proponent of land reform. In 1987 the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) National Secretariat of Social Action. and is intended to distribute land to millions of poor farmers.49 As examples. In 1981. including development is marked. and the legal controls over the establishment and oversight of NGOs are less stringent than most other East and Southeast Asian countries. An extension passed and was signed into law on August 7. that overthrew the Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship in 1986. and also passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995. No prior permission is required to establish an NGO. The role of the Catholic Church in public affairs. The CBCP has revived a task force to monitor closely the implementation of the law to ensure that the government appropriates 2010 its agreed upon budget allocation to land distribution. and in Mindanao. NGOs. Civil Society. Catholic bishops advocated for a more comprehensive and vigorous extension of the measure. Fidel Ramos (president from 1992–1998) involved civil society in the Mindanao peace initiative (particularly in engag33 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS Civil society is extraordinarily active and diverse in the Philippines. Partly because of the government’s sensitivity to popular demand and pressure. POs and NGOs played crucial roles in bringing Spanish and American colonial rule to an end. In numerical terms. actual supervision is limited.” although the resulting Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 produced very little new reform and land distribution because of the influence of large landowners in Congress. from 1972 to 2006. and although they are subject to the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission. in the midst of national protests. 2009. Following the Vatican II reforms in the 1960s. | . the Muslim minority is active in promoting social development and peace building efforts.Box 4 Civil Society.
engages in community environmental education as it relates to waste management and other issues. These storms were more severe than the Philippines had seen in years and exhibited unusual patterns in their geographic incidence as well as the time of year they occurred. ESSC also engages Christian and Muslim communities in Southern Mindanao in the local government planning processes. addressing economic growth and job creation. 2009. President Arroyo enacted a new law that established a Climate Change Commission (CCC). typhoons caused a landslide BERKLEY CENTER which killed 250 in April and at least 240 died in flooding due to a typhoon in late September. and international development assistance. Denmark) should respond to G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y the targets of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change. The Philippine government is also taking steps of its own to combat climate change. and two regional networks—about 3. Faith-inspired organizations are active in addressing key ecological issues. Its member networks each have particular foci. Inc. the issue of climate change is very real. education and youth. given the link experts have drawn to recent weather-caused disasters that have struck the island nation. To help make NGO efforts more efficient and organized. CODE-NGO (The Caucus of Development NGO Networks) is one of the largest NGO networks. social justice and basic needs. These NGO networks tend to be characterized by horizontal cooperation. The Jesuit organization. which posits a 25 percent to 40 percent cut in emissions from 1990 levels to prevent irreversible climate change by 2050. In the absence of a national land use inventory for nearly 20 years. and constituent members of the networks are typically very engaged in the decision making processes. rural development.000 NGOs (including faith-inspired organization) in total. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s advisor for global warming and climate change. located in Laguna. It employs innovative environmental mapping techniques to facilitate ecological sustainability in: natural resource management.Box 5 Environmental Call for Action In recent years and months. the Philippine government has kept pressure on foreign governments to ratify a new treaty to reduce greenhouse gasses. in particular barangay (or district level) development planning. In 2009 alone. to coordinate action plans to prepare the country for extreme weather and integrate climate change initiatives into broader policies. In Central Mindanao. Heherson Alvarez. upland development. and anti-corruption and good governance. trade and investment. comprised of one national NGO. PHILDHRRA (Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas) focuses on agrarian reform. and current president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has included NGOs in the formulation and implementation strategy for the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. Similarly. The National Coalition for Urban Transformation (NCUT) was formed from organizations within the Alliance of Christian Development Agencies (ACDA) which works with Roman Catholic and Muslim organizations and leaders and counts among its activities the promotion of environmental advocacy through education. For the Philippines. | ing poor communities) and in national policy formation. Christian NGO Dalan sa Kalambuan (DALSAKA). 2004–2010. development planning and policy. a number of NGO networks and coordination mechanisms have been formed. seven national networks. On October 23. 34 as opposed to vertical hierarchy. Buklod Biyayang Kristiyano. Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC). to facilitate and foster interfaith cooperation on environmental responsibility. and . stated that the UN Conference of Parties (which met in December 2009 in Copenhagen. provides environmental education. Its member congregations have also endorsed political candidates based upon their support for ecological or other development policies. aquatic reform and fisheries. (BBK). the organization’s resource monitoring efforts have helped guide local policy and regional agencies to facilitate water and nutrient resource sustainability in the highland areas of the country. Thus. is active on several fronts. faith-inspired organizations have been instrumental in bridging the grassroots and policy levels on the environment. among other community development initiatives.
different levels of government. The project aims to build at least 1. in which interfaith housing builds are held in areas where there has previously been violent conflict that saw many people of both faiths lose their homes. NCSD (National Council on Social Development) focuses on social welfare and development. the United Church of Christ. and some of the latter have been among those who have contributed land for build sites. among others. but expired after the congressional session ended. Advocates of the bill have affirmed that they will refile the law in the next legislative session. reaching out in particular to poor and marginalized youth. Faith-inspired organizations are active across various sectors and regions in the Philippines. following heated debate among legislators. Habitat for Humanity operates. The Catholic Church. built and renovated over 600 houses. which would require governments at all levels to provide free or low-cost reproductive services. Although smaller in numbers. NATCCO (National Confederation of Cooperatives): cooperatives. credit. Habitat had.010 houses in Peace and Development Communities (PDCs). relief and rehabilitation. The Catholic Church and Contraception The official position of the Catholic Church in the Philippines has been to oppose contraception of any kind. and livelihood. many of which are attentive to the connections between education and poverty. 2010 elections. The bill was presented to Congress in January 2010. particularly in trying to foster economic self-reliance among structurally disadvantaged segments of the population and promoting peaceful coexistence in pluralistic communities. organizing low-income urban areas. Muslim and Christian groups have been intentional about constructive interfaith collaboration in addressing the conflict in Mindanao. PHILSSA (Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies) focus on urban land reform. Peace Build has included government soldiers and ex-MNLF combatants in the builds. By September 2008. while the encouraged Filipinos to vote against political candidates favoring any government support for contraception in the May 10. and housing. having attained a predominantly Filipino clergy by the 1990s (at the Vatican’s encouragment). 2010 Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines has social forestry. such as in August and September of 2008. in cooperation with other organizations. excluding abortion. as well as the local imam and even the former Miss Universe were among the signatories to the peace covenant establishing the framework for the program. Faith-inspired organizations are active members of all these networks. Recently. under Peace Build. the Peace Build program (funded by the European Commission). The faith-inspired NGO community is a vibrant and important part of the broader cohort of development NGOs. The number of Muslim faith-inspired organizations in the Philippines has grown in recent years. Representatives from the Philippine army. Filipino Catholic orga- nizations have forged long-term relationships with foreign Catholic faith-inspired organizations helping to increase the capacity and sustainability of the former. has embraced social and economic development work throughout the country. working alongside a multitude of faith-inspired NGOs. Even though the Church holds great influence over the views of many Filipinos. working together even in light of instances of violence. It also has extensive network of parochial schools. seeking to confront particularly severe poverty in Mindanao and calling for a peaceful political solution to the conflict there. the Church opposed the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008. the Catholic Church. a viewpoint at odds with many in civil society and the development community. according to a Pulse Asia poll conducted in October 2008. the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). the reproductive health bill is supported by 63 percent of Filipinos.Box 6 Box 7 Habitat for Humanity—Peace Build Program in Mindanao In Mindanao. non-Catholic Christian faith-inspired organizations have been equally vigorous in their development and peacebuilding efforts. There are many 35 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | .
Another important area of focus for faith-inspired development organizations is that of children and youth. Kabilikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay. one of the most active. community development. Governance is one of the principal areas of programming for the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y international religious NGOs undertaking development initiatives across the country. faith-inspired microfinance organizations that have come about alongside secular organizations of the same kind. in addition to emergency relief. assists approximately 122. Faith-inspired organizations are quite active in interfaith dialogue and interreligious peacebuiling activities. oriented toward dialogue based on a deepening of Christian and Muslim faith. creating Peace Communities. partners with church. have forged interfaith dialogues at the grassroots level throughout Mindanao. and community organizations to expand access to health services in underserved areas. already made extremely difficult by violent conflict and extreme 36 . religious leaders are particularly influential in mobilizing communities scarred by religious conflict toward reconciliation and understanding. particularly at the grassroots level. World Vision. rural areas. However. interfaith immersion. the umbrella group for Muslim NGOs in Mindanao. The Catholic Church has shown leadership in certain reforms (see Box 1). since many elected officials do heed the views of the Church. and cooperative economic activities. The Christian microcredit organization Rangtay sa Pagrang-ay. BERKLEY CENTER | Emerging Challenges Corruption and a lack of transparency at all levels of government is a significant challenge for faith-inspired organizations. encompassing a wide range of interventions including community organizing. As a major part of development initiatives to address poverty in the country. and personal internal renewal. Some of the former have origins in other countries. advocacy for human rights and community development. Both Christian (the Catholic Church is publicly engaged) and Muslim inspired development organizations are active on issues of governance. capacity building and local governance is increasingly becoming an area of interest for faith-inspired organizations. Inc. Inc. have a crucial role to play in peacebuilding in Mindanao in particular (see Box 3). (KMBI) is a Christian microcredit organization operating across the Philippines. Socio-Pastoral Institute (Christian) and Ummah Fi Salam (Muslim). and networking for peacebuilding and development. or Darusalam. it is the most likely candidate for spearheading a conversation on these themes that would have substantive impact. and so effectively coordinating a unified effort to vigorously address corruption and transparency is a challenge. 50 It is clear that faith-inspired organizations. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (which includes the Catholic Church) has formed a group to combat fraud in the May 2010 elections. Catholic Relief Services. Finally. Given that faith is a central component of life for large parts of the population in conflict affected regions.000 homes throughout the country through 15 affiliates and 6 Local Management Councils (See Box 6). Habitat for Humanity has built over 26. education. Two local faith-inspired organizations. though it is important to note that the Church in the Philippines is not a monolithic voice in terms of its socio-political agenda. there has been a growth of grassroots. For instance. focused in particular on improving the livelihood of Filipina women. (RSPI) seeks to empower financially the marginalized indigenous groups of the Cordillera region. Kalinga Mula Sa Mga Anak ni Juan Florentino (Apostolic Catholic) and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians: Salesian Sisters of St. local patronage and clanship-based politics further complicate the environment. but many draw their ideas from native Filipino faith communities and/or are sustained by local efforts. and engages in emergency disaster relief.000 children with education needs through child sponsorship and community-based programs. Mindanao. provides microloans to the poor (90 percent provided to women with small businesses—12. John Bosco (Roman Catholic) are two examples of Christian organizations that seek to improve the health and welfare of disadvantaged children in urban and remote. In Mindanao. Silsilah (meaning “chain” or ”link” in Arabic) Dialogue Movement is a Muslim-Christian interfaith organization founded by a Catholic priest in 1984 in Zamboanga City. and civil society more generally.000 new loans worth over $1 million in loans in 2002). government. stressing what it sees as the interrelated nature of entreprenurial development. interfaith dialogue for understanding and solidarity.
“Nun lifts the lives of thousands. A full report should be available by August. as informed by her faith. Religious traditions have played an important role in Cambodia’s history and its present. WFDD is investigating the development related activities of individuals and organizations that are in significant ways motivated and shaped by faith. To a degree.” Source: Fox. In the words of Sister Oling. Nonetheless. Primarily through an intensive set of interviews.’ I feel 2010 very satisfied indeed. her foundation had reached a credit line of over $800. Sister Oling decided that simple interest in the poor was not enough.org/news/women-religious/nun-lifts-lives-thousands Accessed 21 April 2010. along with the help of a priest. and its actual and potential contribution to building a more equitable and prosperous Cambodia.000 and was serving 20. However. Sister Oling. Oling’s work to address people’s “woundedness” from poverty. is impressive on many fronts. http://ncronline. 2010. Thomas C. and the Foundation now operates out of Sorsogon and Zamboanga (in the southern Philippines) and has grown from a three-person operation to a staff of 109. a Sister Servant of the Divine Healer. these organizations are part of communities and civil society more broadly. which include growing imbalances between rich and poor. in many instances. and there is lively attention to the contemporary roles of Cambodia’s particularly active civil society.Box 8 Sister Adelia S. Cambodia faces extraordinary challenges. In 1997. the great diversity of both Muslim and Christian organizations on the island and . This discussion reflects preliminary findings of the review. the development roles of the large number of faithinspired organizations that work in Cambodia are poorly understood. Cambodia’s recent economic and social progress. seriousness of cooperation between the two faith communities demonstrate that there is a desire and resilience among many in Mindanao to address development needs meaningfully despite challenges posed by power dynamics. but that she would turn to social action to fight poverty.” Her research found that meeting monthly expenses was a large contributor to persistent poverty and an inability to meet basic needs.000. However. Oling and People’s Alternative Livelihood Foundation Sister Adelia Oling. Cambodia Background Cambodia is a country of special emphasis for this exploration of intersections between religion and development and specifically the work of faith-inspired organizations. her efforts have supported more than 11. notorious 37 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | . Learning about the Grameen model of microfinance from a nearby development agency. a microfinance organization that provides capital to low-income people in central and southern Philippines who are unable to provide adequate collateral for conventional loans. nearly all women. the overall impact of their work. who have worked to bring their families out of extreme poverty. though the shock of tumult under the Khmer Rouge (especially during the 1975–79 period) represented a sharp discontinuity from which Cambodia is still recovering. but their religious character presents some distinctive features that merit both a broad survey of what they are doing and why. and by 2006. taking a particular interest in microfinance.000 clients. poverty. but now we can. Substantial research on Cambodia’s religious heritage is available. Since she began exploring ways to increase locally-grown food for economic development. Sr. given the devastation of decades of conflict and genocide.000 small and medium scale entrepreneurs. “When I hear someone say. conducted a questionnaire “to understand how pervasive underlying poverty was keeping local residents out of the economic market. Web. before we could not even purchase milk for our children. she secured a grant from Catholic Relief Services for $50. is CEO and founder of People’s Alternative Livelihood Foundation.” National Catholic Reporter 13 April 2010. WFDD is engaged in a year-long “mapping” review for Cambodia. in partnership with the Asia Faiths Development Dialogue (AFDD). ‘Thank you very much. continues today.
Islam also has a long history in Cambodia. and the specific place for faith-inspired organizations. Buddhism had overtaken it as the major faith of the population and elites. have not been notably part of national development planning and strategic reflection. Cambodia has an unusually large array of faith-inspired organizations that work in virtually every sector with particular concentrations on health.54 Far more intensive Christian influence came after the fall of the communist regime and after 1979. for example. and post conflict healing. The shifting balance gives BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Cambodia’s Religious Heritage Cambodia has a rich religious heritage and many faiths are present among Cambodia’s population. Perhaps foremost among the challenges. owing in part to the presence of overseas missionaries. A Muslim man highlighted the impact of the genocide: “after the Khmer Rouge. thus securing a place for Christianity in Cambodian society.3 percent Muslim. migrated to Cambodia to escape conflict. When Cambodians returned to their home provinces. The role that religion will play. but by the latter half of the 10th century. By international standards. and today focusing on education and health service delivery. given its importance for future stability. Both Hinduism and Buddhism have ancient roots in Cambodia. Other sources give somewhat different breakdowns. 0. even before the French protectorate. Christianity is the fastest-growing faith tradition in Cambodia. education. people from the now-extinct Champa kingdom in present day Vietnam. Religion. French Catholic missionaries first came to Cambodia in the early 18th century. particularly amongst the younger generation. Religious teachings and practices of all kinds were banned. showing greater religious diversity. many Christian churches and aid organizations entered the country. is still relatively weak. 53 Few Cambodians practice Hinduism today. often by death. but their converts were few in number. all religions were reborn. a range of social tensions. when the Cham. are the weaknesses of Cambodia’s education system. The first Muslims to arrive in Cambodia were the Chvea. for example about the Millennium Development Goals. But religious understanding. which was decimated during the period of troubles. and less than 0. and environmental threats. including. King.governance and capacity weaknesses.” 2008/2009 statistics published by the Ministry of Cult and Religions in Cambodia indicate a religious profile with (out of a population of about 14 million) some 96 percent Buddhists. which represent a diversity of traditions. A wide array of organizations expanded emergency aid and relief portfolios into development activities. royal circles. and the assistance provided by the multitude of Christian-based relief and development organizations. when Christian missionaries and aid workers flocked to the refugee camps along the Thai and Vietnamese borders.52 Hinduism gained a foothold primarily in 38 . especially contributing to humanitarian aid. Faith-inspired communities and institutions are very much part of the overall development process. an ethnic group thought to have immigrated as early as the fourteenth century from the Malay Peninsula or the Indonesia archipelago. A second wave of Islamic followers arrived in the late fifteenth century. many of these groups. individually and as a community (though it is a stretch to suggest that a faith-inspired community exists). The legacy of the Khmer Rouge and communist regime for Cambodia’s religions is still felt today. but Hindu traditions contributed to the uniquely Cambodian forms of Buddhism. are important questions facing Cambodia as it looks to the future.1 percent Christian. an increase in the number of churches. where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Khmers had sought refuge.51 Sacred texts and some recently discovered ancient Buddhist statues date back to before 500 CE. traditions of ancestor worship and a strong grip of superstitions.”55 Lack of knowledge and of people to teach has colored a nonetheless remarkable revival of both Buddhism and Islam. These weaknesses are linked to widespread institutional capacity challenges. The country’s official motto underscores the importance accorded to faith tradition: “Nation. though their origins and early history are shrouded in legend. but today most Cambodians call themselves Buddhists. especially the Buddhist values that Cambodians view as a central feature of their social fabric and culture. However. and those found to be practicing were punished.
Buddhism’s links to Cambodia’s dynamic development processes are not easy to pin down. Development and Buddhist Organizations Despite the wide presence of visible symbols of Buddhism. ABE maintains a website (although somewhat dated) for the Sangha Network which is dedicated to helping connect Buddhist communities throughout Asia who are working to promote environmental conservation.” says Sopheap. While quite a wide range of local and international Buddhist-inspired organizations operate in Cambodia. 2010 nection between Buddhism and the environment. Hiek Sopheap.rise to some tensions. In practice. Several international Buddhist organizations. lax regulation. The video. has 39 | . Monks have participated in the planting and ordaining of trees in forests. Hundreds of local residents have shown up at individual Satisfied that ABE’s contributions are making a difference. ABE has championed a number of other projects. has long been interested in the interplay between his Buddhist faith and the natural environment. On the surface. To date. Nonetheless. “When monks tell people to do something. and helped oversee the maintenance of community wells. Moreover.” After nearly 20 years in the monkhood. “The Buddha was born in the forest and reached enlightenment in the forest and passed away in the forest. the Alliance of Religions and Conservation. they listen. Sopheap disrobed and is today the Executive Director of the Association of Buddhists for the Environment (ABE). Conservation International. ABE has trained over 200 monks in 21 provinces throughout Cambodia. which leverages the influence of monks to promote environmental conservation and consciousness in a country where economic growth. ABE is a faith-inspired NGO in Cambodia. Sopheap says that communities are gradually beginning “to realize the important role the environment plays in their lives.” explains Sopheap. this means ABE trains monks who then return to their temples and turn the grounds into a focal point for rallying the community in support of environmental issues. with the support of the UK-based Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC). “The forest is life. which highlights the conhelped place greater attention on the need for community members to take responsibility for their environs. Mustard Seed Charitable Trust UK.” (Donors past and present to ABE include the United Nations Development Programme. “The monks are respected by members of the community. their informal structures and a lack of publicity (and fanfare) make the true magnitude and impact of their work difficult to assess. BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS screenings of an ABE-produced educational video showcasing various initiatives throughout Cambodia where monks are taking an active role in environmental conservation activities. give financial aid to local Box 9 The Association of Buddhists for the Environment (ABE) A self-described former “socially active” monk. USAID. Pagodas in Kampong Chhnang and Kampot provinces have been outfitted with community announcement boards to communicate important messages about environmental initiatives. WildAid. and the Wildlife Alliance).” Not only have communities learned to accept the monk’s newfound roles (some were skeptical at first because traditionally monks do not engage with communities). like spirit houses in homes and shops and orange-clad monks moving in and out of the ubiquitous pagodas. but Cambodia prides itself on its constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and long traditions of religious tolerance. Buddhism appears to be little engaged with the development enterprise. constructed compost bins at Pagodas. ABE’s aim is straightforward: monks should demonstrate in word and action the importance of preserving the environment. Buddhist teachings and institutions do play significant and probably increasing roles and merit careful attention. with plans for more trainings. most based in Korea and Japan. and a lack of understanding about natural resource management are all working to quicken the pace of environmental degradation. community members themselves have become involved.
and the Buddhism Society and Development Association. They have embarked on specific efforts to engage Buddhist structures in development work. while others see Buddhism’s proper role as more removed from modern demands. but are often constrained by lack of financial support. Development and Muslim Organizations Indigenous Muslims in Cambodia fall into two ethnic groups. Some argue that Buddhist faith and traditions require active engagement with the society and the corresponding actions or contributions. often refer to themselves as Cham. largely owing to the similarities between their ethnic group and the Cham and also for reasons of simplicity.57 The Chvea have long had roots in the Malay community in southern Thailand and Malaysia. and to a less obvious extent nuns. Work is often carried out by individuals or small informal groups. not material needs. Like many Buddhist organizations. This blending of the two ethnic groups as one Muslim minority corresponds with the narrative. and the Cambodian Islamic Association (CIA). the Cambodian Islamic Youth Association (CIYA). particularly between older and younger generations.” Many development organizations. It is thought that the Chvea preceded the arrival in Cambodia of the Cham. who share the same religious views but tend to live in separate villages.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y pagodas. who came to the country from Champa. which suggests that little distinction is made between Islamic-based NGOs run by particular branches of the Muslim community. More significant are local organizations that appear to be taking increasingly active roles. among them the Islamic Local Development Organization (ILDO). Muslim organizations address a range of development issues but place particular emphasis on education and income generation activities. An umbrella group. working in various sectors. As one Buddhist monk put it. acts as a coordinating body and channel for donor funds for eight Muslim development organizations. There is among all who speak to Buddhism’s role a strong focus on the values that Buddhism represents. meeting spiritual. Notwithstanding the limited assistance provided by the committees and the support available from the structured organizations. but there are about 20 formal Muslim organizations working in Cambodia. Monks. Buddhists would rather “focus on the end result. the Cham and the Chvea. recognize the benefits of engaging monks and laypeople linked to pagodas as a way to ensure the strong links to communities that are vital for development. few other avenues exist for community members to secure funds or other resources for communal projects or individual use. are respected authority figures in their communities. The Association of Buddhists for the Environment.” adding that monks and laypeople are “respected more because we do not announce our activities. Committees help where they can. Cambodian Muslim Development Foundation. In addition to the structured organizations. BERKLEY CENTER | 40 . and support of those already infected. both secular and faith-inspired. Compounding the difficulty in recognizing Buddhist contributions to development is the pattern whereby formal organizations that do exist often have limited publicity. 58 Today the Cham and Chvea recognize the same supreme religious leader in Cambodia and many Chvea. Muslim development organizations in Cambodia are often difficult to identify. Examples include Buddhism for Development. A significant difficulty in measuring and evaluating social action in communities by Buddhists is their decentralization and fragmentation. which range from compassion to a commitment to integrity. UNICEF has a program called The Buddhist Leadership Initiative56 that actively engages monks in community outreach surrounding HIV/ AIDS prevention and awareness. owing largely to the small size and scope of their activities. The role that Buddhist institutions should play in development work is actively debated today in Cambodia. One monk characterized Cambodian monks as having “salty spit”—meaning that people listen to them and act upon what they are told. providing small loans and on occasion material goods. Projects focused on educating the community on health and environmental issues and providing support to persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) and their families are the most common. present day central Vietnam. a more informal system consisting of elected committees formed around individual mosques provides an outlet for community members to request emergency assistance. Numbers are not clear. beginning in the late 15th century.
Others cite the Catholic Church’s long history in Cambodia and thus deeper roots. and Jesuit Refugee Services. to exercise a certain moral code of conduct. studying the Qur’an and Islamic practices is their sole form of education. unlikely to have any significant impact on the overall climate and problem. notably Malaysia. One that is specifically Christian and faith linked is Chab Dai. waiting months for a shipment of much needed wheelchairs to clear through the Customs Department. BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . accentuated by the large number of organizations. creates another set of complications. including peacebuilding. Reasons for the divide are unclear. Organizations face difficult ethical dilemmas: pay bribes or risk facing programmatic delays. education. for example. communications difficulties. and for some time they operated with little administrative restraint. but it may well be related to the quite wide perception that many Christian groups use development projects as a means for or excuse to proselytize. There are also a large number of smaller organizations representing an extraordinarily wide set of denominations. However. a resource center and coordinating mechanism for groups working in the field of trafficking. there is no clear solution. some common challenges emerge. weak coordination mechanisms. Christian organizations are involved in all sectors. In discussions in Cambodia. The Catholic Church and its associated organizations are often described more favorably than other Christian organizations. For some however. since they are. are playing an increasingly influential role in supporting Cambodia’s Muslim community. environment. individually. Cambodia attracted large numbers of organizations in the post genocide period. In addition. given the generally difficult operating environment in Cambodia.Several Muslim majority countries. Foreign financing has contributed to the construction of mosques and Islamic boarding schools. including World Vision. either by choice or circumstance. or are driven by their faith. some Cambodians drew a distinct line between the way they perceive the work and motivations of “Christians” and Catholics.” Coordination challenges are rife. The current rather poor coordination creates gaps and overlaps in the delivery of services. Some groups take a strong stance. there is merit in engaging the community in broader ongoing discussions with the government and the aid community. refusing to pay any extra “fees. and income generation. Cambodian Muslim students are receiving scholarships to study abroad in such places as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. For organizations operating today. World Relief. Saudi Arabia. and a tendency towards competition. Faith-inspired organizations develop their own materials and projects based on the knowledge 41 Emerging Issues In addition to the myriad project-specific challenges that each faith-inspired organization faces (which are not dissimilar to those facing most NGOs). Lack of effective dialogue among organizations or religious bodies. and several NGO coordination mechanisms took root. These are linked to generally weak institutional capacity and unclear ‘“rules of the game. All organizations must find ways to respond to the general capacity weaknesses and to endemic patterns of corruption. similar to what one might part with to expedite the delivery of a package. Catholic Relief Services. Foreign nations are also sending religious teachers to Cambodia to serve as teacher-trainers to Cambodian Muslims eager to enter the profession. which has given high priority to finding practical solutions that will improve accountability and increase the demand for good governance. Christian Development Activities Although Christianity’s influence is relatively new to Cambodia. Caritas. children. because faith-inspired organizations oftentimes feel the need. the majority of faith-inspired organizations operating there today are rooted in Christian principles and beliefs. Virtually all the leading international Christian-inspired NGOs have active programs in Cambodia. It is generally appreciated that corruption is deeply embedded in Cambodia today.59 Other organizations take the view that paying a bribe to expedite the delivery of the wheelchairs can be viewed as simply paying an express fee. the American Friends Service Committee. health. Church World Service. thereby sidestepping the issue of perpetuating a corrupt system. Voluntary coordination mechanisms emerged. Students who go abroad combine religious and secular studies. This issue is especially problematic. and Kuwait. trafficking. Essentially.” even if it means. “Christians” being for the most part Protestants.
and they are descibed as the most effective way for them to influence policy. They do not spend time on Buddhist practices and even if they do it is very superficial. It is about much more. for example. The larger faith-inspired groups. Having this freedom is part of peace and harmony.” Most faith groups say that their work is clearly differentiated between service and development versus evangelical work. with many comments about “rice Christians” or “food for faith. The Christian churches offer English lessons. like the Church of Latter-day Saints and Adventists. They have computers. They take young people on sightseeing trips. That includes groups well-known for evangelizing tendencies. led by the government. University of Cambodia Professor and Ministry of Culture Secretary of State Samraing Kamsan summarizes the situation and challenges as follows: “There are problems with Christianism in Cambodia today. are not interested in going to the pagodas. for the Ministry of Culture. with the latter subject to greater skepticism and restrictions. there are three networks that aim to address civil society coordination challenges: the NGO Forum. there is a plethora of local aid coordination mechanisms. there is no standard set of training materials for HIV/AIDS work in the country. But the trend towards joining Christian churches and the weakness of Buddhism are also worrying for us. health is particularly active). In addition. What this means is that Buddhism has to work much harder to make its messages clearer. so this is all legal and accepted. are well tuned in to this system. and for those responsible for religion. computers. So young people are attracted and they join. the general judgment is that both coordination and networking efforts and bodies. The operating environment for non-governmental organizations is changing. Membership is voluntary for NGOs. deeply so. Competition for volunteers among beneficiary groups is fast becoming a major concern of organizations. The government tends to make a sharp distinction between service delivery and advocacy organizations. Organizations spend time and resources creating their own HIV/AIDS curriculums and educational materials. Alongside. and the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC). However. completely free. or CDCF. Overall. and are able to (given limited resources) engage and build relationships with communities and volunteers inhibit the productiveness of programs. The youth. which vary in intensity and form by sector (for example. Inconsistencies in how organizations choose to. The three networks have one representative who sits in on the CDCF. Relevant research and operational experience can be presented in this setting. are plainly inadequate to the challenge. these mechanisms represent a substantial investment and show some success.they have. Buddhism is part of our culture. particularly the sector working groups or sub-groups. with new legislation 42 G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y aimed at better regulating civil society activity under discussion. but the many smaller organizations largely fall outside the system. Cambodia is a country where special and quite intensive effort is going towards aid coordination. which serves as a high level meeting of government officials and donors.” BERKLEY CENTER | . While one organization. on balance. MEDiCAM. another organization operating in the same area and providing similar services might be willing to cover only their volunteers’ cost of transportation. But for young people in Cambodia today that is not easy to understand. Buddhism is not about reciting the Dharma alone. might provide sizeable per diems and motorbikes to volunteers. like World Vision and CRS. The practical meaning of religious freedom is a topic of lively exchange today. brings together government and major external development partners on a fairly regular basis. rather than building upon the experience and materials of other organizations. and they offer trips overseas. For example. The government chaired Cambodian Development Cooperation Forum. There is freedom of belief in Cambodia. especially young students. Organizations that proselytize or are seen to proselytize are also viewed with apprehension. What they want most is IT. and to learn English. to Angkor Wat and other places. And it has much to offer for daily life.
Thailand has been embroiled in a political crisis since the military coup of 2006. Vietnamese. ousted from power. with one of the most robust economies in South East Asia. and advocacy. 2010 Socio-Economic and Political Background Of Thailand’s population (estimated at 66 million). Karens.63 Thailand also has a large (largely undocumented) migrant worker population. exemplified during recent political upheavals that affected both civil society and the upper echelons of political leadership. The majority of the population is Buddhist. 75 percent are ethnically Thai.).000 Burmese refugees in camps near the Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border. Income inequality is approximately the same as the United States. however. Pro-democracy demonstrations in Burma (Myanmar) in 1988. emergency medical services. counseling. Khmers. many more live as internally displaced people in the Burmese jungle. Some 66 per- 43 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | .4 percent in 2008) but is rising significantly (end 2009 estimate close to 2. refugees are still arriving to Thailand in significant numbers. as well as students and pro-democracy activists to Thailand. and fled to exile in Dubai. including a sizable and politically active Muslim minority (4. and Shan ethnic populations. Protests against the ruling party continued in early 2010. The political intrigue and regional character of the crisis deepened in late 2009. increased the exodus of Karen. at 10 percent.61 The official unemployment rate is among the world’s lowest (1. but Thailand has significant religious diversity. when former Prime Minister Thaksin was appointed advisor to the government of Cambodia.5 percent). legal aid.Thailand An Overview Thailand’s rich history and culture are inextricably intertwined with Buddhism. following the 2006 military coup and the 2008 global financial crisis. and numerous smaller groups. A nagging territorial dispute has escalated as both countries exert their claim to land near the Preah Vihear Buddhist temple. prompting diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Thailand is a middle income country. Thailand’s deeply respected king remains one of the only unifying figures in Thailand’s political landscape. remains a persistent problem and a contributing factor to social conflict. The crisis began when populist multi-billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was accused of corruption. The percentage of the population living below the poverty line is also relatively low. The Jesuit Refugee Service in Thailand. especially the northeastern and southern provinces. Most social and political institutions are deeply rooted in Therevada Buddhist tradition. 14 percent ethnic Chinese. economic growth has declined sharply. Poverty. Karenni. social services and community development.60 Religion is thus an integral part of Thailand’s approach to its development challenges. cent of Thailand’s population lives in rural areas. but also Laos and Cambodia. and led to a temporary state of emergency in the capital. with a variety of ethnic and religious influences. Faith-inspired organizations are active in working with both refugee and migrant populations. The majority of these laborers come from Burma. Mon.6 percent) concentrated in the southern provinces. following an extended period of rising political tensions. Religion influences many aspects of Thai society and life and serves as an important unifying force. followed by the failed 1990 elections. near the top of the medium development bracket and higher than all of its neighbors. However. he has never completely left the Thai political scene.400 (2008 est. The economic contraction was primarily caused by a decrease in global demand and a decline in investor confidence spurred on by the continued political instability. As human rights abuses continue in Burma. as well as prolonged political tensions. Thailand hosts more than 143.62 Thailand has impressive achievements to show on human development and ranks 87 on the Human Development Index. and the remaining 11 percent Malays. Bangkok. which contributes about 7 percent to the economy. thousands of Burmese live outside the camps without being recognized as refugees. Many refugees have lived in the camps for 15 to 20 years. Political instability has also affected the tourism industry. Burmese refugees started seeking refuge in Thailand in large numbers in the late 1980s. for example. operates refugee settlements along the border with Burma (Myanmar) and works in urban centers on education. Anti-government street protests in April 2009 disrupted the regional ASEAN summit. With a GDP per capita of US$8.
as he continues to be viewed by many today. in section 38: A person shall enjoy full liberty to profess a religion. In exercising the liberty referred to in paragraph one. Today. health.000 persons who prac44 tice varied forms of Buddhism. Most are ethnic Malay.65 The Constitution provides for freedom of religion.7 percent of the population. Saha Christchak (Baptist). The 2007 Constitution also has a clause providing that the government must “patronize and protect Buddhism and other religions. The pagoda generally plays a central role in village life. to fund education. There are 3. and observe religious precepts or exercise a form of worship in accordance with his or her belief.600 Christians. the influence of Buddhism is clearly evident. a person is protected from any act of the State. The 2000 census estimated that Thailand had 438. and Indonesia. and Buddhist monks have been instrumental in reaching the poorest and most marginalized communities through their social work. The government recognizes five Christian organizations: the Catholic Mission of Bangkok (Roman Catholic). 3. a religious sect or creed.Religion in Thailand Religion plays a prominent role in Thai society and politics. as was the Buddha. Taoism. At some point in their lives. but the Muslim population includes descendants of immigrants from South Asia. or on the path to enlightenment. and spirit worship. Thai Buddhism is unique among its Buddhist neighbors. monks in Thailand have borne witness to the harmful societal and environmental effects of unsustainable development. the Church of Christ in Thailand (Protestant). churches. There are nine recognized tribal groups. as is lack of representation in the national government. and is a model of for social engagement across Southeast Asia and within international Buddhist networks. Over the last few decades. allowances for monks and clerics.644 registered mosques in 67 provinces. Depending on the figures used. and for renovation of temples. and mosques. Historically. and although officially there is not a state religion. . provided that it is not contrary to his or her civic duties. Thai Buddhism has a strong heritage of social engagement across a wide range of sectors and issues. the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand (Protestant). a religious sect or creed or observing religious precepts or exercising a form of worship in accordance with his or her different belief from that of others. among other issues of social justice. Theravada Buddhism was imported from Sri Lanka. public order or good morals.” The government has a budget for all recognized religion. For example.088 of them located in the 14 southern provinces. comprised of approximately 920. and Hindu beliefs and indigenous religions figure prominently in local traditions and festivals. A separatist movement by the ethnic Malay Muslim population in the south has caused widespread violence and unrest. and economic and societal marginalization. A large majority of Thais are Buddhist. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world’s the longest ruling monarch and is part of a royal lineage dating back to the 13th century. where the king. monks across the country are engaged in environmental advocacy. giving rise to a national and international socially engaged Buddhist movement led by prominent figures including Buddhadasa Bhikkhu and Sulak Sivaraksa (founder of the Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation and the International Network of Engaged Buddhists—INEB). religion is closely intertwined.66 BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Socially Engaged Buddhism in Thailand The pagoda is a center of social and economic life in many communities across Thailand. highly concentrated in the south along the Malaysian border. and the Seventh-day Adventists. or chao khao. which is derogatory to his or her rights or detrimental to his or her due benefits on the grounds of professing a religion. and monks are given preferential treatment in society. was bodhisattva. Cambodia. and he remains a unifying force. Christianity. they have free access to public transportation. almost all Thai men are ordained as monks.64 Many Thais regard the king as a semi-divine figure. as a spiritual center. influenced by the region’s particular history. Though ethnicity is a large contributing factor to the conflict. or 0. as well as a hub for social and economic activity. Muslims (majority Sunni) comprise 5–15 percent of Thais. notably the environment and HIV/AIDS. China.
On the environmental front, monks living in the forest and rural communities (“ecology monks” as they have come to be known) have been negatively affected by various development projects, including gas pipeline construction, strip mining, and deforestation. Ecology monks trace a direct connection between the root causes of suffering (greed, ignorance, and hatred) and environmental destruction, and as such see environmental activism closely aligned with Buddhist teachings. 67 Sulak Sivaraksa is a vocal activist for the environment, publicly placing blame on international corporations and corrupt officials for unsustainable development practices. Recently, a 2006 Thai judicial ruling dropped charges against him for obstruction of the Yadana Gas pipeline in Kanchanaburi, considered by environmental groups to cause ecological and social damage in the local villages. Monks continue to “ordain” trees as well, a symbolic protest that aims to signal to loggers that the forest is a sacred place. In 2005, Phra Supoj Suwajano, a monk involved in forest protection in Chiang Mai province, was murdered, highlighting the sensitivity of social advocacy and further bringing the environmental cause of Thai monks to international attention. Thai monks have been active at the grassroots level, working on HIV/AIDS from the early days of the epidemic in the early 1990s. UNICEF and UNAIDS, recognizing the effectiveness of monk engagement, have partnered with the monk community through the Sangha Metta Project since 1997. Sangha Metta is an NGO based in Chiang Mai, which trains monks in social awareness, prevention education, social engagement, tolerance, acceptance, and spiritual support for people living with HIV/AIDS. As of 2003, about 7,000 monks, nuns, novices, community members, and youth had completed project training courses.68 The project shows good sustainability, as the Thailand Government Department of Religious Affairs has followed up with funding for HIV care projects in temples.69 The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria actively supports the engagement of monks in HIV prevention and care. The monks help to change the mindset of the predominantly Buddhist society, portraying HIV as a cultural and social issue, and not only a sexual issue, one that would preclude monks from becoming involved. As of 2007, Buddhist monks had educated over 300,000 people on HIV prevention
in Thailand through Global Fund supported projects to the Ministry of Health and Raks Thai Foundation.70
Interfaith Cooperation and Dialogue
A clause in the 2007 Constitution requires the government to “promote good understanding and harmony among followers of all religions.” The government has sponsored interfaith dialogue through regular meetings and public education programs. The Religious Affairs Department (RAD) has responsibility for carrying out and overseeing many of these efforts. On August 18, 2008, the RAD held its annual interfaith assembly with approximately 1,200 representatives and members of all registered religious groups participating. From May 12–14, 2009, the RAD sponsored a Youth Reconciliation Camp in Chonburi Province, just outside of Bangkok, that attracted 214 participants. Further, the Ministry of Public Health conducted a religious camp in Chiang Mai that brought together Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian youth to participate in activities that promoted religious reconciliation. Other events included the Religious Relations Caravan (a relief project for the poor in January 2009), the celebrations for World Visakha Bucha Day (held during May 2009 in Bangkok and Nakhon, and involving approximately 2,000 participants), and Mobile Religions, Arts, and Cultures Program to the Southern Border Provinces (a series of events featuring religious exhibitions and seminars—the first event in May 2008 in Natahiwat and the second in June 2009 in Pattani). In addition, the Police Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok conducted an interfaith seminar on crime prevention in January 2009. Members of the Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian religious communities in Bangkok participated. Lastly, a group of “peace ambassadors” comprised of representatives of the Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian communities met with the 4th Army Chief, Pichet Wisaijorn, at the Sufficiency Economy Learning Center in Pattani in May 2009 for a peace conference. The RAD has a religious interfaith subcommittee that is comprised of approximately 30 representatives from all religious groups in the country and RAD officials, and convenes at least every two months. The RAD also produces a weekly television program, Thailand: Land of Good People, as well as CDs/DVDs and the periodic newsletter, Religion Direct.71
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Numerous faith-inspired organizations from the three major regional faiths are active in Thailand, working on a host of issues: children and youth, human trafficking, education, HIV/AIDS, health, and gender issues. These organizations include a wide range of both national and international actors. Large international Christian organizations present on the ground include: Adventists Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), World Vision, Jesuit Refugee Service, and Caritas International. The Jesuit Refugee Service is active working with Burmese refugees at the Burma (Myanmar) border, as well as with labor migrants that work in Bangkok in often dangerous conditions. ADRA is working on a range of programming areas with current projects focusing on migrant worker rights, minority rights and development, HIV/ AIDS education, and a refugee vocational training program. One project focuses specifically on girls in Chiang Rai province, providing education, shelter for at-risk youth, and awareness campaigns on trafficking and sexual exploitation. Thai Christian organizations are active on a broad spectrum of activities with numerous organizations focusing on at-risk youth and operating orphanages. Huen Nam Jai Home of the Chang Kham Church in Bangkok, as an example, provides shelter and education to street children at risk of drug use, prostitution, and AIDS. The Im Jai House in Chaing Mai, an orphanage, provides education, food, shelter, and spiritual teaching to the children in the city. The Human Development Foundation—Mercy Centre in Bangkok is shelter for street kids, orphanage, kindergarten for 500 children, hospice, and home for mothers and children with HIV/ AIDS, originally built on a former Buddhist temple site, established over 30 years ago. The center’s director, Father Joseph Maier, has been working in the country for over 30 years and received the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand for his service. Buddhist organizations are largely motivated by the teachings of socially engaged Buddhism and are active in the areas of environment, health, education, gender equality, and social justice, among others. There are numerous examples of faith-inspired organizations, movements, and individuals working for social justice
across the country, including the Sangha Metta Project (HIV/AIDS prevention and care—funded by UNICEF and UNAIDS), Thailand’s Health Promotion Temple Project (initiated by Public Health Ministry for Physical and Mental well-being), Thai Bhikkhunis (promotion of women in Buddhism and ordination), and the We Love Nan Province Foundation (founded by Phrakhru Pitak—an environmental conservation NGO). Several Muslim organizations work on development and peacebuilding related issues, particularly in the south. Notable examples include the Asian Muslim Action Network (Muslim and interfaith network at grassroots and policy level working on poverty reduction, environmental protection, human rights, social justice, interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue, and communal harmony and peace) and Kamphuan Women’s Group (Sustainable livelihoods for women). Development work by organizations linked to other faiths include Jewish organizations (American Jewish World Service Thailand, and Thai Jewish Community under the leadership of Rabbi Yosef C. Kantor), and the Baha’i (Baha’i Foundation of Thailand).
G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y
Vietnam is at a unique and critical juncture on development issues, a communist regime rapidly opening up to the global economy. Against a long history of confrontation with several foreign powers, today it actively courts international investment. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an average annual GDP growth of 7.2 percent prior to the recent worldwide economic recession, (the government expects growth to rebound to 6.5 percent in 2010). Through wide ranging development initiatives with a myriad partners, Vietnamese and international, Vietnam has lifted approximately 35 million above the poverty line. Vietnam’s poverty rate fell from 58 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2008. Vietnam aims to reach middle-income status (defined by the World Bank as countries with a per capita income above US$1,000) in the near future. Even so, Vietnam still has significant pockets of poverty, especially among its ethnic minorities, who live primarily in
mountain regions The next few years will be crucial in Vietnam’s development trajectory. Vietnam’s population is quite diverse. Approximately 86 percent of Vietnamese belong to the Kinh (Viet) majority ethnic group, and there are seven minority ethnic groups that constitute at least one percent of the population each, and four percent of the population belong to smaller ethnic groups. Official census figures indicate, in terms of religion, that approximately nine percent of Vietnamese identify as Buddhist, seven percent as Catholic, 1.5 percent as Hoa Hao, one percent as Cao Dai, 0.5 percent as Protestant, 0.1 percent as Muslim, and 81 percent claim no religious affiliation at all. A key unifying spiritual and cultural element for nearly all Vietnamese is ancestor veneration.
public), and the estimates of the number of Catholics in Vietnam range from 5 million to 8 million, giving it the second largest Catholic population in Southeast Asia after the Philippines. Hoa Hao and Cao Dai are nationalistic Buddhistderived religious sects and were among the first groups to instigate armed revolt against the French and then the Japanese colonial presence. The government officially recognizes them both, but many of their followers reject affiliation with government committees that oversee their respective religious affairs, causing some conflict with the government. Hoa Hao was founded in 1939 by Buddhist reformer Huynh Phu So, whom its adherents regard as a prophet. Cao Dai is more syncretic than Hoa Hao, with its collection of saints including Jesus Christ, Confucius, Muhammad, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Pericles, Sun Yat-sen, and Victor Hugo. Protestantism represents only a small percentage of the population, but it is the fastest-growing religious denomination in Vietnam, having grown as much as 600 percent in the last decade. There are two main state-sanctioned Protestant bodies: the Evangelical Church of Vietnam North (ECVN) and the Southern Evangelical Church of Vietnam (SECV).72 Many small Christian groups are not registered with either. These include Christian members of ethnic minorities in the central highlands, known collectively as Montagnards, who meet in house churches. In 2007, Hanoi officially recognized Mennonite and Baptist denominations, and it recognized the Presbyterian Church in Vietnam (PCVN) in 2008. Islam in Vietnam is mostly associated with the Cham ethnic minority, although about a third of Muslims in the country are of other ethnicities, and 15–20 percent of Cham people are Hindu. Islam has become somewhat syncretic in nature with many Vietnamese Muslims practicing Bani Islam, which uses a 20-page version of the Qur’an.
Religion in Vietnam
Historically, Mahayana Buddhism is the largest religion of Vietnam since it arrived in Vietnam’s Red River Delta from China in the second century A.D. Theravada Buddhism from India also came to the southern Mekong Delta between the third and sixth centuries (and mostly remains in those regions). Over time, Mahayana Buddhist rituals have become, to varying degrees, intertwined with indigenous animism and Confucian and Taoist philosophies. The communist regime established in the North in the 1950s repressed Buddhist activity, while the clergy had a great deal of independence in the South, even though the Ngo Dinh Diem administration increasingly discriminated against Buddhism in favor of Catholicism. After Vietnam was consolidated in 1975, following the Vietnam War, the government attempted to co-opt and control the clergy in the South through the Patriotic Buddhist Liaison Committee. As a consequence of coercive government policies, Buddhist practice was substantially reduced. Today, the government still exerts significant influence though the state-sponsored Buddhist Church of Vietnam (BCV), the only officially recognized Buddhist entity in the country. French, Spanish and Portuguese missionaries brought Catholicism to Vietnam in the early 17th century, and the French colonial government promoted its spread to “balance” Buddhism. Today Catholics enjoy some specific freedoms (such as the ability to conduct mass in
Development Work in Vietnam
Registered faith-inspired humanitarian NGOs are governed by the same guidelines as secular organizations doing such work, and there are few legal obstacles in conducting development work in the country. NonVietnamese faith-inspired organizations registered with
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the government see good progress, reporting a trend towards liberalization as development and international engagement increases.73 International Organizations In Vietnam, international NGOs tend to occupy the roles and fulfill the functions of development and poverty reduction that domestic NGOs do in other countries in Southeast Asia, sometimes operating through local NGOs. International NGOs are particularly active at the commune level (the administrative level below that of “district”), often working with mass organizations (which are mainly funded by the Communist Party). As of 2004, at least 50 of the 450 international NGOs registered with the Vietnamese Government’s People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) were faith-inspired organizations, although organizational affiliation or lack thereof is often ambiguous. In general, larger faith-inspired organizations are more likely to register with PACCOM than smaller entities. Among these larger organizations, World Vision is very active in Vietnam. It introduced Area Development Programs (ADPs) in 1997 as one of their principal foci of work in the country. ADPs involve a participatory and long-term view toward community development and integrate into their operations poverty reduction, attention to administrative structures, gender issues, and environmental considerations, among other elements. In 2008, Caritas, seizing upon recent changes in government disposition toward faith-inspired NGOs, resumed working in Vietnam after a 32-year hiatus with development programs focused on the most marginalized segments of Vietnamese society. Oxfam Hong Kong has worked at the commune level (but also with other levels of government) on issues related to landmines, as well as construction of a water supply system as part of a “Peace Village Project.” The Peace Village is a de-mined area that provides housing and other infrastructure for 100 families that have a member affected by “left-over” landmines. Japan International Volunteer Center has created “Community Development Committees” in rural areas of Vietnam to, among other activities, promote agriculture and forest conservation that supports the livelihood of community members, is environmentally sustainable, and is oriented toward promoting local owner48
ship. Islamic Relief, through the Disasters Emergency Committee (United Kingdom), was involved in emergency relief for Vietnam following the devastation of Typhoon Ketsana in September 2009. Smaller international Buddhist and Christian groups (sometimes including overseas Vietnamese) that work informally with Vietnamese nationals often arouse less government suspicion and scrutiny than larger Western NGOS and are thus able to operate relatively easily. One such organization is the Committee for the Relief of Poor Children in Vietnam (CRPCV), a U.S.-based Buddhist NGO founded by a Vietnamese expatriate, working on issues of food, shelter, education, and the effects of natural disasters as they pertain to disadvantaged and orphaned Vietnamese children. Vietnamese Organizations Since the mid-1990s, there has been a substantial increase in Vietnamese NGOs that are relatively independent from the state compared to those that came about because of the Doi Moi reforms of the late 1980s. There has been a recent surge of growth among all types of civil society organizations (including CBOs and cooperatives), so that by 2005 there were approximately 140,000 CBOs, 3,000 cooperatives, 1,000 local NGOs, and 200 charities recognized by the Vietnamese government. At the grassroots level, the profusion of community-based organizations (CBOs), mostly consisting of issue-specific groups not sponsored by the government (such as water-user organizations, farmers’ collectives, and credit groups), has been spurred by involvement of international NGOs and foreign donors. Faith-inspired organizations in Vietnam are active among these organizations on a wide range of development work. Among the officially sanctioned organizations, the Buddhist Church of Vietnam is engaged in anti-drug and child welfare programs, and the Hoa Hao organization asserts that it is involved in various charitable activities and local development projects. Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, the Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, has proposed that the Catholic Church in Vietnam provide “educational training” to help the Vietnamese people (particularly those in large cities) to address social issues of concern to the Church, including unrestrained consumerism, prostitution, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, among others. Vietnamese
G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y
The government began decentralizing control over the economy and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. the PDR government attempted both to influence and capitalize on Buddhism for specific political goals: highlighting the stated compatibility between Marxism and Buddhism at conferences. a Buddhist nun. the practice of Buddhism waned. Theravada Buddhism was brought to Laos in the eighth century by Mon Buddhist monks. and location for village meetings. It is also one of the least developed countries in East Asia. Though literacy rates for the country as a whole increased from 48 percent to 79 percent during the years 1980–2001. while the Khmou and Hmong make up 11 percent and 8 percent respectively. mandating a prominent political component to the curriculum at Buddhist schools. The minority ethnic groups lag behind the national average for many development indicators covering health. been increased government overtures at foreign investment. education. Villages celebrate several major religious festivals throughout the year. Buddhist nuns were recently invited by the Catholic Church to learn about the Church’s social programs. as a residence for monks. excluding the Asian financial crisis years in the late 1990s. the government in place prior to the communist revolution in 1975. with economic reform and political liberalization. which resulted in an average of 6 percent annual growth from 1988 to 2008. a technical school. but in the late 1980s. Today. About 31 percent of its population lives below the poverty line. Laos is a very diverse country. to one that mandates impact assessments of new laws and the consultation of public opinion regarding the laws. and also work together on social development issues. while other organizations have made some advancements with issue-based advocacy. which was important to their mobilization of popular support at the village level. and at least one nun is pursuing the experience with related studies at Ho Chi Minh City Open University. and Buddhism was the state religion of the Kingdom of Laos. especially at the village level in the lowlands. in Mongolia the Vietnamese Salesian mission runs a kindergarten. the World Bank argues that it is feasible that Laos could graduate from the UN Development Program’s list of least-developed countries by the target year 2020. and educational exchanges in recent years to increase mutual understanding. The Pathet Lao communist movement that overthrew the Kingdom of Laos gained the support of some of the sangha (Buddhist clergy). including 49 2010 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS Laos Socio-Economic Background The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is one of the few remaining one-party Communist states in the world. This is partly because of a shift in law and policy-making away from a solely topdown process. two farms. In terms of ethnicity. The reforms have allowed NGOs greater access to lobby the government regarding development issues including HIV/AIDS. Buddhism continues to be important in Laos. There are some signs of economic development hope in the country. Religion in Laos 67 percent of Laotians identify as Buddhist. There have also | . and a shelter for 120 disabled children. the remaining quarter of the population consists of over 100 minority ethnic groups. and many Laotian kings were patrons of Buddhism. encounters. Even earlier. Vietnamese Salesians (members of an international Roman Catholic charitable religious order) are engaged in social development work in other Asian countries. place for prayer sessions. The Lao majority comprises 55 percent of the population. for example.Catholics and Buddhists have participated in interfaith dialogues. Nearly 80 percent of the labor force works in subsistence agriculture. and economic status. works with a Catholic social worker operating a “compassion house” that addresses the needs and problems of street children. For instance. It has the highest infant mortality rate in Asia apart from Afghanistan. In the years immediately following the revolution. Hue Tri. As an example. only reached 55 percent for males and 20 percent for females. Some local Vietnamese NGOs have been able to contribute to government policy-making processes. the literacy rate for the Mon—Khmer ethnic group. and the 23rd highest worldwide. soup kitchens. Elsewhere in Ho Chi Minh City. The wat (Buddhist temple) is an important center of village life. there was a marked resurgence of Buddhist religious activity. and allowing party members to participate in Buddhist ceremonies and be ordained as monks.
private sector development. Politics. taking various forms throughout the country. the Lao PDR government has taken up a purge of animism. At Wat Aham in the city of Luang Prabang. Many foreign.the beginning and end of Buddhist lent and Vixakha Bouxa. secular NGOs in Laos work specifically on issues affecting women and children in poverty. known as phi. persecution of animist practices has increased tensions between the government and the Lao Buddhist sangha. alleging that government forces have used violence to compel Christians to “prove” that they have given up their beliefs. did not become widespread until the late 13th or early 14th century. G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y NGOs. to discuss requisites for and obstacles to effective collaboration. Government repression continues to fall disproportionately on ethnic minority groups striving for greater autonomy. derives from the worship of animist guardian spirits called khuan. but who also largely belong to animist and Christian sects. there is clearly a great deal of diversity within animist belief and practice among Laotian ethnic minority groups. From these examples. the highland ethnic minority groups) and Lao Theung (the mid-slope minorities) are animists. In recent years. is the oldest religious practice in Laos. and actively engage faith-inspired organizations. agricultural and rural development. health. among others. natural resources and energy. according to reports received by the UN and Western media. all men are expected to spend time as monks or novices before marriage (and possibly in their later years). In Laotian animism. The small Christian minority in Laos. and Cambodia. Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire (Action for Women in Precarious Situations). as well as regional Asian government and civil society representatives. the mythical founder of the Lao race. this ability is evidenced by one surviving a 50 grave or protracted illness. In 2007. governance. enlightenment. Japan International Cooperation Agency supports projects related to education. and gives them an important standing in the village. the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Organizations and Voluntary Action Network India hosted a capacity-building conference for civil society organizations in Vietnam. the celebration of the birth. and Development Though there are many challenges associated with development work in Laos. Traditionally in Laos. Laos. It is often difficult to disentangle political dissent from religious persecution and government antagonism. Theravada Buddhism. transportation. Most of the Lao Soung (collectively. phi are omnipresent within living and non-living entities. the second oldest. the country’s ethnic minorities largely do not display this integration of belief. In 2008. The worship of animist spirits. are venerated as the guardian spirits (devata luang) of the city. exhibiting various religious practices that have in common a cult of ancestors. the servants of Khun Borom. Animist shrines can be found throughout the country. social security. there is a class of shamans above that of “ordinary” spirit practitioners that is able to directly contact spirits (neeb). Although the syncretism between animism and Buddhism is deep and pervasive throughout much of Laos. the UNDP and Lao PDR sponsored the “Government-Civil Society Organisations Partnership for Poverty Reduction. there is an active international presence with organizations doing a wide range of work. which seeks to bestow good luck upon an individual as they take a significant step in their life. ostensibly because animism is not “compatible” with the communist party ideology. water resources. about 1. which brings distinction to these individuals’ parents. and animist traditions are explicitly observed at most Buddhist wats in combination with Buddhist practices. because of the fusion between animism and Buddhism. and urban/ regional development. Examples of active American and European organizations include Action with Lao Children. However. According to the animist beliefs of the Hmong.5 percent of the population. BERKLEY CENTER | . and Aide Odontologique Internationale (International Dental Aid). The Lao Buddhist baci ceremony.” which included a conference for government officials to meet with leaders from Lao civil society. Aide et Action. and death of the Buddha. has faced persecution by the government (although evidently less in recent years than immediately following the 1975 revolution). The Lamet minority’s animist beliefs involve every village having a spirit practitioner (called a xemia) who is responsible for making sacrifices to village spirits.
met directly with Laotian Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh in January 2010 sur- Burma (Myanmar) The Country in Context Burma. Champassak Province Buddhist Association worked with PSI in 2001 to develop a documentary on HIV/AIDS prevention from a Buddhist perspective. a Thai Buddhist organization. Organizations linked to engaged Buddhism have implemented social and aid projects in Laos. Recent events have focused international attention on Burma (Myanmar) and the repressive policies of the mili- 51 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . Burmese culture reflects diversity of both people and geography with an estimated 135 different ethnic groups officially recognized by the government and many others unrecognized. emphasizing abstinence and safe sex. and advocating for a tobacco control law) and supports the Community Initiative for Primary Education Development (CIED). The Sangha Metta Project. education. Laos’ foray into the area of civil society development is quite recent. In recent years.” a collaborative project between the Lao Sangha and the Department of Religion of the government’s Lao Front for National Construction. has worked in Laos to train and equip monks. is geographically the largest country in Southeast Asia. World Wide Support for Development. and novices to work with communities to prevent AIDS and assist those living with the illness. contemporary Burmese Buddhism shows influences both of international Buddhism and Burmese indigenous beliefs. Handa Haruhisa. it remains to be seen how easy or difficult it will be for organizations to register. It has also launched “Metta Tham. PSI works with monks at the village level. ADRA also operates health programs (including a youth HIV/ AIDS education project. Laos was one of five countries to reject its democratically selected civil society representative who was to participate in the conference. and cultural activities in Laos and other countries in Southeast Asia. the government has recognized few organizations under this decree. At the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) People’s Forum/ASEAN Civil Society Conference. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) aims to help Laos meet the UN Millennium Development Goals and increase food security by working with communities in the model of sustainable development. and by 2004 it had constructed 102 buildings (Mukhopadyaya). an ethnic minority health project. with the government having only approved in April 2009 a decree to allow non-profit organizations to form and operate. with organization president Mr. While religion is clearly a major part of Burmese identity and society. the role that religion plays in development is severely cramped by the nation’s authoritarian regime. providing systems for clean water and sanitation. The Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA). Future development will likely depend on the degree to which Laos’ one-party system chooses to afford civil society a voice on governance and development issues. The latter sponsors initiatives such as the CWS Village Clean Water Program.Despite the significant amount of work being done. and because the decree only became operational in November 2009. engages in development. which operates in rural areas. has made building schools in Laos its main activity since 1993. there has been close collaboration between Buddhist organizations and other entities working on HIV/AIDS issues. PSI works with the Lao Buddhist Organization at traditional festivals and concerts to promote the Buddhist message of virtue. nuns. The nation has a rich Buddhist history. a Japanese Buddhist NGO. Faith-Inspired Development Work Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Church World Service (CWS) are both active in Laos. founded in 1980 by the Soto Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism. rounding the groundbreaking ceremony of a nursing school and the Mother and Child Hospital. Laos still faces many obstacles to sustainable peace and development. where monks provide a venue (the village wat) and promotion for PSI’s video presentation on HIV/AIDS prevention. So far. officially known as the Union of Myanmar since the military government changed its name in 1989. and Burma (Myanmar’s) international links are constrained. Several organizations have worked in partnership with Population Services International (PSI) to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention throughout the country. The Buddhist Aid Center (BAC). Also from Japan.
75 Years of oppression have given rise to insurgencies which cause even greater human suffering and loss of life. As the debacle surrounding Cyclone Nargis showed.78 Burma’s (Myanmar’s) low rank on the global Human Development Index (138 in 2009. and favoritism ranks Burma (Myanmar) as the third most restrictive country in the world. The government responded violently. There was widespread international criticism of the brutality. The poor education system perpetuates poverty. Almost 33 percent of the population falls below the poverty line.000.1 percent in 2008. offering few alternatives. filling the gap left by the absence of the government and international community. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Socio-Economic Background Burma’s (Myanmar’s) population of approximately 42 million is about 28 percent urban. recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and elected Prime Minister in 1990 elections. The military government oppresses certain groups. aggravate economic hardship. Burma was also shaken by the catastrophic 2008 Cyclone Nargis that destroyed countless towns and villages. The hierarchy of the Buddhist .4 percent and to 1. highlighted tensions and frustration with the ruling junta. Non-state actors involved in social development in Burma (Myanmar) face a wide array of challenges. government restrictions make international assistance extraordinarily challenging and thus limited. national faith-inspired organizations played a critical role in providing assistance. and though Buddhism is not an official national religion.2 years and PPP GDP per capita US$904) sums up the tragedy of its poverty and missed opportunities. UNICEF reports a 50 percent dropout rate before completion. The United States has maintained economic sanctions against Burma since 2003 that. estimated to be at least as large as the formal economy. has been under house arrest for 14 of the past 20 years. Mon (2 percent). and the private sector is very small. and remains so despite increasing international pressure to allow her party to participate in the elections scheduled for 2010 (she is. and lack of social opportunity. Indian (2 percent). however. persecution.74 The Saffron Revolution of 2007. resulting in unpaid forced labor campaigns. when tens of thousands of monks took to the street in non-violent protest against government oppression. it is actively supported by the government. The ethnic diversity has posed challenges to national integration. Aung San Suu Kyi. Despite substantial natural resources. Economic growth has decreased significantly since 2006. igniting a tradition of political protest that stretches back to the time of British colonial rule. along with a poor investment climate and the global economic crisis. number more than 400. officially excluded from holding public office in Burma’s [Myanmar’s] Constitution). killed tens of thousands.79 74 percent of the population is Therevada Buddhist. and other (5 percent). falling from 3. poverty is a central fact of Burmese life today. the country is diverse. and forced reloca52 Religion in Burma (Myanmar) A multi-country analysis that gauges governments’ religious regulation. Chinese (3 percent). Rakhine (4 percent).76 The military government largely controls social and economic opportunity. only behind Saudi Arabia and the Maldives (see Figure 2). tion programs. life expectancy 61. most recently manifesting itself in the nationwide anti-government protests of September 2007. religious persecution.tary junta that has ruled the country since 1962. including severe government restrictions. especially in rural areas. and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Teacher pay is very poor and investment insufficient. 68 percent Burmans with other significant ethnic minorities being the Karen (7 percent). Ethnically. During the disaster. scorchedearth policies that destroy farmland. Lack of opportunity (especially for young people) in a country where the military controls even social mobility was a significant impetus for the protests. including novices. Though there is officially 90 percent enrollment in primary school. Economic mismanagement and corruption have prevented the majority of Burma’s population from benefiting from the country’s vast oil and gas deposits. Buddhist monks. Government controls and economic policies perpetuate poverty. killing protestors and civilians as it feared losing its grip on power. Many deaths could have been prevented if the government had responded immediately to offers of international help.77 The black market is a large source of economic activity. These conditions have contributed to social unrest.
their extensive network and presence helped many who were most in need. persecution of minority ethnic groups by the military government has often coincided with religious persecution. with most minority religions concentrated within minority ethnic groups. and the United Nations.81 Role of Faith-Inspired Actors Burmese social services and infrastructure are poorly developed. many with local roots. and mosques work both independently and in collaboration with international organizations. The majority of Muslims identify themselves as members of the Rohingya ethnic group. 0–10.83 53 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . well manicured gardens. as was the case with relocation of the capital from Yangoon to Naypyidaw. 0–10. Government crackdowns are common. low is less regulation Religious Persecution.000 Rohingya refugees in the country. but the Karen are the largest group. Given the obstacles that international organizations face to work in Burma (Myanmar). Community based monks. to program implementation. and over 250. The Rohingya are not officially recognized by the military junta. which comprises four percent of Burma’s (Myanmar’s) population. specifically points to the importance of community-driven recovery. Faith in Burma (Myanmar) cannot be fully understood without taking into account indigenous beliefs. including faith-based structures (Buddhist. and Hindu) all played a role. There are over 300.3 7. 0–10.9 10 GRI: Government Regulation of religion Index. Muslim. noting that at the village level the traditional social welfare support systems. high is more persecution Source: The Association of Religion Data Archives sangha is quite tightly controlled by the government. The new capital of Naypyidaw has consistent electricity. and a modern zoo. and Hindu (two percent). low is less regulation GFI: Government Favoritism of religion Index. poor education. Christian. The Muslim population. and spirits that are intertwined with Burmese culture and faith. and consequently do not have citizenship per se and do not receive state services.Figure 2 Religious Freedom Indicators 8. astrology. Burma became independent in 1948.80 There are significant religious minorities. where teachers are poorly paid. The Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparation Plan prepared by the government. churches. Muslim (four percent). Faith-inspired organizations were involved in all stages of response. Non-governmental organizations work to compensate for the many gaps and public sector failings.000 have fled to Bangladesh. Religious organizations are tightly monitored and their activities restricted. from initial humanitarian relief. and limited social freedoms. The religious diversity is closely linked to Burma’s ethnic diversity. especially visible after the pro-democracy monk protests of 2008. Cyclone Nargis highlighted the effectiveness of many faith-inspired actors as first-responders to a humanitarian emergency. have been crucial in filling the gap. to coordination and planning. faces particular hardship and discrimination against Muslims is widespread. including animism. and engage in all aspect of social development and humanitarian relief. lack of opportunity. The Christian population has members from all ethnic groups.6 9. 0–10. faith-inspired organizations. low is less favoritism SRI: Social Regulation of religion Index. which astrologists believed was an auspicious time. including Christian (seven percent). As a result.82 The government operates a failed educational system. ASEAN. while the rest of the country lives with intermittent electricity.
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ) works with Buddhist monasteries. Temples. including one project where the monastery produced a soap opera that was viewed by over a thousand people at an important Buddhist festival. as do many socially engaged Buddhist temples and monks. and World Vision. are the center of religious and social life and in practice often act relatively independently despite the many restrictions imposed on the city based Buddhist sangha. especially in rural areas.BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y The government does not allow missionaries to operate. Kids Alive International. both international and national. do operate. however. PEPFAR (U. Christian aid organizations. Save the Children. 54 .S. International faithinspired organizations include: the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC).
55 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 .
including infrastructure development. including government and international organizations. As in the country case studies in section 3. The Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) was created in 1961 to extend low-interest long-term funds to developing countries. with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on November 6. making it one of the largest donors globally. drawing faith-inspired organizations to contribute to a range of work throughout the region. Japan is actively engaged in regional programs for the development of the Mekong river basin. Japan is the largest trading partner for ASEAN countries. The government utilizes various mechanisms to distribute foreign aid. JICA is especially active in Southeast Asia and engages with faith-inspired organizations throughout the region. Japan’s net ODA in FY2008 was US$9. the factors that facilitate regional roles. The country sections summarize information on the country context where faith-inspired organizations are based. economically and politically. but also from the United States and Europe. approximately 60 percent of Japanese foreign aid goes to Asia. World Bank and the United Nations. Japan began direct dialogue with ASEAN countries in 1978. an early example being collaboration with a Buddhist organization. the number of organizations working in the region is vast. followed by the United States and the European Union.87 Overall. Japan allocates significant resources to development. particularly those from the wealthier countries in Asia.85 Economically. Vietnam. and historical circumstances all influence present day relationships. construction of schools and hospitals. and faith-inspired organizations. From 2002 to 2006 Japan led the region in both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). and human development.Part 4 Transnational Dimensions T Japan Japanese Foreign Assistance Since the end of World War II. Aid is given in a wide variety of sectors. and views its relationship with the region as an important strategic partnership. and Burma (Myanmar). The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).5 billion in aid over the next three years. Japan initiated the US$360 million Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction at the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Social Development 57 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS he following sections examine the role of transnational faith-inspired organizations in Southeast Asia. is one of the most active and largest government development agencies in the world. during the Cambodian refugee crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. with emphasis on country-focused and regional programs. providing assistance to over 100 countries. and common faith beliefs transcend national boundaries. The organizations listed are the most active and well-known. and the countries and sectors in which organizations work. 86 In Cambodia. NGOs. representing an increase of over 8 percent from 2007. To that end. In 2000.4 billion.88 | 2010 . Religious and cultural ties. lesser known organizations that have made particular contributions at the regional level. restoration and preservation of historical and cultural sites. 2009 pledging US$5. established in 1974.84 Japan and Southeast Asia have especially strong interdependent ties. Shanti Volunteer Association. Japan is also one of the world’s largest donors to international multilateral organizations. economic and political interests. Japan has emphasized Asia as a pillar of its diplomatic policy. including the Asian Development Bank. Japan has involved a broad spectrum of organizations and institutions. Laos. as well as smaller.
ensuring a country specific focus. Seikyo Shimbun. I made the Eighth Route Army of China [renowned for its selfless service to the people] one of my models. . yet religion in the country has developed a character that is uniquely Japanese. .” In addition to social development activities. In 2008. both created with the mission to provide direct assistance to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. It was not part of any formal program. including a contribution of US$1. I went to villages and offered assistance and undertook various volunteer activities. One story from Soka Gakkai in Cambodia illustrates how one individual worked to improve her community. Malaysia. Determined to help them in any way I could. International Planned Parenthood Federation. But helping people become self-reliant is precisely what the Soka Gakkai has done. .] there were so many people suffering emotional or economic distress as a result of physical disabilities. and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Soka Gakkai is an active advocate internationally in the campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons.” Though Soka Gakkai began in Japan.06 billion to the United Nations. largely due to a rise in contributions to international financial institutions. Japan saw an increase in overall ODA. Office of Public Information—Tokyo Office The quotation by Japanese author and critic Mimpei Sugiura.Fund at the World Bank. Tuberculosis. the loss of a spouse. they do not provide material support. of those at the very lowest strata of society. A woman called Samith decided that the wells in her community needed to be cleaned. and Taoism. Every week from then on Samith took it upon herself to clean the wells. the Japan Trust Fund for HIV/AIDS. education. Box 10 Soka Gakkai Soka Gakkai has its roots in Nichiren Buddhism and is a lay organization founded in the 1930s by teachers wanting to reform the Japanese education system. BERKLEY CENTER | 58 . Soka Gakkai’s programs are unique in that as a general rule. is something that I have also devoted great energy to. its worldwide offices are independently operated and funded. and Hong Kong. agriculture and G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y small scale infrastructure development). You can’t foster genuine independence in people merely through charitable deeds or donations of money. and in revitalizing their lives. Eventually others joined in. Social development programming is for the most part independently organized. and Malaria. notably Buddhism. in the May 3. Confucianism. 1981. illness. Religion Religion in Japan historically has been influenced by the major religions of Asia. but she began out of a personal drive to contribute to her community. Three of the most active and organized offices are located in Singapore. —Anecdote from interview with Joan Anderson. without anyone paying her. in Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper. But it was no good. This. but an individual taking it upon herself to make her community a better place. actually. Additional prominent international Japanese development initiatives include the United Nations Human Security Fund (UNTFHS) (directed towards key thematic areas including health. and without anyone asking or expecting any praise. [After the Second World War. There are now over 12 million members worldwide in 192 countries following the Nichiren Buddhist teachings for “empowerment and inner transformation or ‘human revolution’ which enables individuals to take responsibility for their lives and contribute to building a world where people of diverse cultures and faiths can live in peace. and so on. issue summarizes well the work and approach of the organization: The Gakkai’s greatest achievement lies in unleashing the power of the people.
both throughout Asia and around the world. which lends special difficulty to quantitative efforts to estimate Japan’s religious adherents. conducting religious rites.90 Virtually every Japanese Buddhist organization engages in some sort of international relief or social development activity. The foreign aid program also has a substantial training component. Japan has the most complex NGO framework in Asia. it is an influential actor in Southeast Asia. education. Many consider Shinto more about ritual than a religion. after one of the most rapid post-war industrialization and development periods Asia has seen. or 77. and Tenrikyo. Buddhism is seen to serve as a moral compass for social development work. Shinto is a belief system in which spirits. Shinto was the state religion of Japan from 1871 to 1947. and World Vision Japan . World Mate. NGO refers specifically to groups engaged in international cooperation activities. sports. or kami. Ayus Buddhist International Cooperation Network. Relief Assist Comfort Kindness (RACK). welfare. Rissho Kosei-kai. but a smaller number of Christian and Shinto inspired organizations are involved in development work abroad. The Arigatou Foundation.91 In the Japanese context. Buddhist Aid Center (BAC). Korea relies heavily on Personal Voluntary Organizations and NGOs as a component of its aid strategy.Buddhism and Shinto are Japan’s two major religions. and educating and nurturing believers. all have been very successful in exporting their beliefs and practices around the world. Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA). Activities Legal Persons Law” state that nonprofit entities whose activities include promotion of health. but the constitution mandated separation of church and state after World War II. with both religions influencing each other to a degree. The 1991 “Approved Community-Based Organization Law” and the 1998 “Special Nonprofit 59 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . there were 237.894. in particular. Japan has witnessed the birth of a variety of “new religions” (shinshukyo) stemming from both Buddhist and Shinto beliefs. will positively intervene in one’s life. (the Religious Corporation Law. disaster relief. or the administration of organizations engaging in these activities can be established without approval by the government. with a large component devised to develop Korean industry. has inspired social and development work both in Japan and abroad.167 registered non-profit person entities in Japan.92 Some of the largest and most active faith-inspired organizations include Soka Gakkai International. Buddhism was first introduced to Japan in the 6th century. and this has allowed it to exist peacefully with Buddhism for centuries. Korea South Korea launched its official development assistance (KOICA) program in 1991. shyuukyou houjin. wherein societal harmony is held as the highest value. Buddhism has coexisted for centuries with Shinto.89 Many Japanese consider themselves both Shinto and Buddhist.5 percent. using both Korean supplies and technical materials. as well as the most comprehensive body of NGO classification. international cooperation. International Shinto Foundation. Korea modeled its foreign aid program after Japan. arts. The Christian community in Faith-Inspired Organizations and Development in Japan and Abroad Many faith-inspired organizations in Japan are engaged in social development work. community development. and today Japanese Buddhism is quite varied. Soka Gakkai reports a presence in 190 countries and is also highly involved in social development work throughout Asia (see Box 10) Japanese religion and beliefs have influenced attitudes towards charity and social development. Tendai Shu’s Light Up Your Corner Movement. The largest three new religions are Soka Gakkai. Rissho Kose-kai.93 Korea is the most rapidly Christianizing (Protestant) country in the world. of which 183. Association for Renge-in Tanjoji International Cooperation (ARTIC). Though comparatively Korea does not have a large presence on the international scene in terms of monetary amount. culture. were religious or faith-based entities. which is indigenous to Japan. Article 4 (1951) for entities whose purpose is evangelizing. Nichiren Buddhism is one strand that. The Buddhist NGO Network of Japan. Terra Net. Japan has a specific law dealing with Religious Corporations. if treated properly. Shingon Risshu Volunteer Association. The large majority of the organizations stem from Japan’s numerous Buddhist sects. In 2006.
Indonesia. Korea sends the largest amount of Christian missionaries abroad. primary health care. Vietnam.Korea sends more missionaries abroad than any other country in the world. as well as the world’s largest congregation. Habitat for Humanity Korea. the number had grown to nearly nine million Protestants and five and a half million Catholics as of 2007. focusing on a range of issues both in Korea and in cooperation with other faithinspired organizations. both Christian and non-Christian.337 are in Southeast Asia. In Cambodia. especially when a missionary group links their charity to their belief in Jesus Christ. Korean missionary groups are a significant presence across the Southeast Asian faith and development landscape. As of 2008. Thailand. BERKLEY CENTER | 60 . Efforts for engagement and interfaith dialogue with Korean missionaries have proved difficult. intercultural relations. Despite the tensions. particularly to conflict zones. Included in these numbers is the Yoido Full Gospel Church (Assemblies of God). directly affecting government policy on child protection. and HIV/AIDS. after the United States (see Box 11). A range of faith-inspired development organizations are active working both in Korea and abroad. and the Philippines. Many missionaries travel abroad under the guise of development workers. economic development. poverty. including Laos. Korea has experienced one of the world’s largest growth rates of the Christian Church. of which 5. The event highlighted concerns about missionaries and the impact they have abroad. The 1960 government census recorded 600. regardless of their denomination or practice. World Vision Korea G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y is particularly active on government advocacy towards child rights. from 8. and it was reported that the church had 634 missionaries worldwide in 2007. The general coordination challenges that characterize much faith-inspired work seem to apply particularly to Korean groups. Korean missionaries gained international attention when 23 missionaries from the Saemmul Church were abducted in Afghanistan while proselytizing. Other faith-inspired organizations include Compassion South Korea. The Korean World Mission Association reports 58 denominations and 217 mission organizations sending 19.000 to Asia. given a reluctance to engage in networking and coordination work. Caritas. and youth development. and emergency management. Faith-inspired organizations in Southeast Asia have voiced some concerns about the ramifications Korean missionaries can have for faith-inspired development work. as well as abroad. After the United States.000 Protestant Christians. Soka Gakkai International has an active Korea branch. under the leadership of David Yonggi Cho.94 The recent kidnapping of 23 missionaries in Afghanistan has elicited some discussion in Korea about the sensitivities of sending missionaries abroad.95 The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) works both in Korea and in Southeast Asia on food security. Yoido Full Gospel Church sends missionaries throughout the world. World Vision Korea. including the indigenous Buddhist beliefs and the government’s sensitivities to proselytization. Also in 2007. one Catholic leader suggested that Korean Christian missionaries sometimes lack sensitivity to the local context. Another leader reported that negative perceptions of insensitive missionary work have spillover effects for all Christian organizations doing aid work. influential. Good People World Family. the number of missionaries abroad doubled. and at times controversial faces of Korea in Southeast Asia is the explosion of Christian missionaries throughout the region. supporting 155 development and relief projects in 43 developing countries.000 to over 16. including Japanese-Korean relations. the number was still increasing. Over the past half decade. established in 1950.000. though all agreed that they are an important voice to call to the table. nearly 12. Cambodia. works in South Korea reaching out to low-income families in urban areas. the largest Christian church in Korea.413 missionaries to 168 countries. representing various faiths. and Loving Concern International. Won Buddhist Youth Association. Between 2000 and 2006.96 Box 11 Korean Missionaries One of the most prolific. education. The World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth.
and UNICEF. Taiwan has maintained high development indicators. Its tenuous relationship with China presents particular difficulties.” and an economic powerhouse. health. the largest with memberships in the millions. 6 colleges. The DPRK government maintains strict control over NGO activities in the country. and social harmony. 12 elementary schools. Some Taiwanese organizations play important roles in development in other Southeast Asian countries. An industrialized and developed nation.98 Some argue that political cooperation with the government is an important value for the Confucian social ethic. WFP. although the government instituted a National Health Insurance system providing basic services to 95 percent of the population. and 39 nurseries in the country. as well as responding to natural disasters. In 2005. civil society organizations and religious organizations flourished.103 | 2010 A number of organizations. Many organizations. the Taiwanese government held a ceremony honoring more than 200 religious groups from all major religions represented in Taiwan. the state-financed medical institutions cannot always reach the most destitute citizens who live in remote regions. Faith-inspired groups are also active in education.101 As of March 2005. religious groups were operating 32 hospitals. have a particular focus on North Korea. hospitals. among others. 43 clinics. Given the challenges.100 As Taiwan’s economy began to grow in the 1960s. beliefs and rituals considered “traditional Chinese folk religions. but Taiwanese culture is deeply influenced by Buddhist and Confucian values. Much of the population also follows 61 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS The Korean government is giving increasing priority to its role in Southeast Asia with larger investment in the region. About 35 percent of the population is Buddhist and 33 percent Taoist. religious organizations expanded their religious mandates to include provision of social services. in October 2008. . social welfare. seen as important to create a harmonious society. having established 352 kindergartens. Among these institutions. Religious organizations play a particularly important role in delivering healthcare where the state cannot. and the organization has been in the country since 1999 working in five provinces. Faith-inspired organizations have played critical roles in supporting the government’s democratization. as well as implementing programs focusing on food aid. it is one of East Asia’s “Economic Tigers. Korean faith inspired actors are present in almost all countries in Southeast Asia. Caritas works on advocacy for poverty reduction as a key component of political and diplomatic efforts. The largest religious organizations emerged during this time not in opposition to the government. as an example. addressing both the humanitarian needs of the North Korean people and refugees. and education endeavors. including strong commitment to religious freedom. including WHO. for contributions to public service. Both World Vision (through local partner Korea National Economic Cooperation Agency and its South Korea office) and ADRA (with an office in North Korea) have active relief and development programs. as well as 147 libraries and 59 publishing houses issuing 774 publications. In 2009. Tzu Chi operates a medical university. and 107 monasteries and seminaries. 14 handicapped institutions. 33 centers for the mentally handicapped. many faith-inspired organizations work through government partners and a range of United Nations organizations. with many people considering themselves adherents in some degree to both (2006 government statistics).”97 There is officially a separation of Church and State.99 As martial law of the 1940s to the early 1980s slowly transitioned into a more liberal system of governance. and laying a foundation of trust and understanding for the future opening of the country. 25 retirement homes. but despite its political predicament. but with some degree of government cooperation that allowed them to grow and flourish over the decades. encourage their adherents to engage in social services. A large number of faith-inspired organizations work both in Taiwan and overseas. in addition to Southeast Asia. though their roles are in some places circumscribed by political factors.Taiwan Taiwan holds a unique position in Asia. health. 12 orphanages. and clinics around the country. 41 high schools. In 1995. 3 rehabilitation centers.102 Recognizing the close relationship between faith-inspired organizations and the Taiwanese government. ADRA opened a western style café in Pyongyang. the Korean government established an ASEAN center in Seoul to increase engagement with regional leaders. 14 universities. and agriculture.
Fo Guang Shan. and other natural disasters.” Master Cheng Yen uses traditional Buddhist teachings to inspire her aid and relief work. both laywomen and nuns. raising the majority of its funds through small personal donations.” exemplifying the philosophy behind the Buddhist organization’s work. In October 2009. Tzu Chi began its international work in 1991. including many countries in Southeast Asia. among which World Vision has been in the country since 1950. and community volunteer work.72 million people in Taiwan are members of one or more religious groups.104 compared to only 17 in 1988. combining Buddhist and Confucian spiritual ethics with modern efficient management. creating a world of kindness. environmental protection.G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y As of September 2008. floods. In commenting on the work of her organization. and rain boots. As a central tenet of its work. “we must begin by transforming the human heart. belonging to 26 registered religions and religious groups. and relies strongly on volunteer work. a bone-marrow bank. Tzu-Chi operates in 51 countries around the world. focusing on the virtue of compassion. Tzu Chi remains non-political. the organization was founded in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen at Pu Ming Temple on the east coast of Taiwan.105 The majority of Taiwan’s faith-inspired organizations are Buddhist or Taoist. BERKLEY CENTER | 62 . a prominent Taiwanesebased Buddhist organization. It began as an organization of 30 housewives who donated a portion of their grocery money to help others in the community. Its activities focus on four areas: international disaster relief. Tzu Chi attracts many women. founder or Tzu-Chi. The organization has made important contributions to health. translating Buddhist teachings into everyday practice for Tzu Chi’s members. They provided goods and services including hot meals. Its international relief work now reaches out to victims of violent conflict.106 Box 12 Tzu Chi The Tzu Chi Foundation. Master Cheng Yen. aiding typhoon victims in Bangladesh. temporary jobs for victims. She believes that in tackling the world’s problems. Taiwanese faith-inspired organizations are active abroad as well as in Taiwan. said “we should all unite together and cherish and respect our land with the spirit of Great Love. a factor in its longevity and success. The largest and most active Buddhist organizations today working in Taiwan and abroad are Tzu-Chi. daily smaller donations encourage compassion on a daily basis. Master Cheng Yen believes that a root cause of many of the world’s problems is a “lack of love for others. The Ministry of Information in 2006 reported that roughly 18. earthquakes.” Her goal is to serve all of humanity. often received on a daily basis. joy. and reinterpreting relief and volunteer work as a core spiritual practice of Mahayana Buddhism. following the charismatic character of Master Cheng Yen. Dharma Drum Mountain. and equality. Tzu-Chi volunteers provided emergency aid following flooding in the Philippines and an earthquake in Indonesia. alongside the traditional spiritual healing of Buddhist temples. who many of her followers believe to be an incarnation of the bohisattva Guanyin. and Chung Tai Shan. Tzu Chi is a spiritual as well as charitable organization. heavy machinery. compassion. There are a smaller number of Christian organizations. drought. The organization has since expanded to over 75 countries with over 500 staff members giving material aid to those in need and inspiring the Buddhist concept of compassion in both the givers and receivers of its aid. is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. introducing modern medicine. 1526 religious organizations were registered with the government (750 at the national level and 776 at the local level). Tzu Chi encourages disaster victims to help those around them and thus also help themselves to become more independent and involved in rebuilding their own communities. Awarded the 2008 Niwano Peace Prize for its peace and relief work around the world. and that these groups are actively engaged in many sectors in society.
A series of five-year economic development plans have aimed to guide development. but many of the quota policies continue. religion. education. Malaysia’s largest political party.Malaysia An Overview Malaysia has been one of Southeast Asia’s top performing economies over the past two decades. Ethnicity. Ethno-religious tensions have become more visible in recent years. Proselytizing by non-Muslim groups. for which it has earned admiration in Southeast Asia and beyond. reflects on and further acknowledges the growing influence of Muslim moral and ethical values. though in 2009. tensions among both ethnic and religious groups have mounted. Other ethno-religious political parties include the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress and the PanMalaysian Islamic Party. and ethnicity are explicitly addressed in Malaysia’s development planning. while trying to maintain harmony and tolerance among its multi-ethnic and religious society. Nominally the plan has expired. moral. which historically aimed to promote greater balance (largely political and economic) among the country’s ethnic groups. notably an unequal distribution of wealth. ethnic divisions remain distinct. increase knowledge-based capacity by improving the school system. and Development Islam. along with continued emphasis on private sector growth and ethnic balance. it has enjoyed relative political stability. and ethnic communities have tended to be quite inwardly focused in terms of politics.” 2010 marks the final year of the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The plan highlighted the need to incorporate moral and ethical values based on religion. particularly in Muslim majority areas. address socioeconomic problems and decrease income disparity. The growth of the Islamic bureaucracy and recruitment of Islam studies-trained graduates into the civil service may be a contributing factor to this trend. which broadly sought to elevate high-tech industry development. Church burnings in early 2010 were a reaction to a December of 2009 court ruling that allowed the Catholic weekly publication Herald to use the word “Allah” for God. then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad acknowledged that rapid economic growth in Malaysia had brought prosperity but also accompanying social problems. and ethical values in order for Malaysia to become fully developed. politics. Religion and ethnicity are tightly linked in Malaysia. and economic activity. Islam. the New Economic Policy aimed to eradicate poverty for all Malaysians by increasing the Malay share of the national economy. The Seventh Malaysia Plan (1995–2000).107 Approximately 19 percent of the population identifies themselves as Buddhist. In the Foreword to the Seventh Plan. Malaysia has made purposeful. Malaysia’s influence in the region is substantial and growing. and higher education. with about 60 percent of the population legally defined as Muslim. and tradition with economic development as well as to “inculcate sound spiritual. nine percent Christian. The United Malays National Organization (UNMO). Taoist and other traditional Chinese religions. Malaysia ranks 66 of 182 countries in UNDP’s 2009 Human Development Report. also carrying over to areas including the civil service. six percent Hindu. Malaysia’s quite secular traditions are coming under pressure today with several political groups pressing for larger and more formal roles for Islam. customs. and it is a middle income country. Islam plays a prominent role in cotemporary Malaysian culture. and promote development through international cooperation. has been slowly integrating Islamic law into the country over the past few years. is strongly controlled by the government. and three percent Confucius. Malaysia’s policies have favored ethnic Malay in an effort to rebalance inequalities. and these tensions also have repercussions across Southeast Asia. This and other religiously linked tensions are the topic of active dissent in Malaysia. housing projects. All ethnic Malays are by law Muslim and are not permitted to convert out of Islam. In 1971. however. Recently. The Constitution (Article 11) assures that “every person has the right to profess and practice his religion” and (Article 3) that “Islam is the religion of the Federation“. efforts to rebalance inherited ethnic inequalities. has significant political sway. Prime Minister Najib Tun 63 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . and society. and some observers argue. including Sharia courts for cases involving Malaysian Muslims. Despite challenges.
Many come from the Muslim world. based on the principles of Sharia. while some report a tendency to favor Musliminspired organizations. though non-Muslims are not required to study Islam. Malaysia is a regional leader on education and is actively positioning itself as an education hub for international students. socio-economic justice. Since the formation of Bank Islam Malaysia numerous other banks have begun to offer interest-free transactions. The Islamic banking system was born out of this fund. adhere to several principals including prohibition of riba or usury (removing the payment or acceptance of interests on loans). including the Southeast Asia region. providing disaster relief G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Box 13 | BERKLEY CENTER The Hajj Fund and Islamic Banking in Malaysia Malaysia has emerged as an international center on Islamic Finance. Built on the principles of Sharia. with both regional and international organizations. Some of the micro-lending institutions that are active throughout Muslim Southeast Asia. Islamic banking is based on a commitment to spiritual values. a move which many non-Muslims view as discriminatory. Banks that follow Sharia are prohibited from investing in anything considered haram and forbidden under Islamic law from partaking in a business operation that may deal with anything haram. operate with Islamic principles in mind. thereby qualifying an organization for government grants and other benefits. Islamic faith-inspired organizations active on humanitarian relief and development include Islamic Relief Malaysia. Many Muslim development NGOs have ventured into microfinance following Islamic banking standards. Malaysia established the “Tabung Haj” or “Hajj Fund” for Muslims to save money to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. and human brotherhood. Many faith-inspired organizations are active in supporting development and humanitarian/disaster relief at home and abroad. Islam is the only religious instruction provided in public schools. Political opposition parties offered cautious support for constitutional reform and an end to the positive discrimination policies. In 1962. which is listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.Razak announced the abolition of the 30 percent Malay requirement for corporate equity for some service sectors. allows Muslims to save without being involved in an interestbased system. Prime Minister Najib observed that Islamic finance accounted for 19 percent of Malaysia’s banking assets. In 2009. though data is partial and not readily accessible. and the Government Malaysia’s NGO sector is diverse. and the role of Islam in education has been and remains a subject for political as well as educational debate. the Bank Islam of Malaysia operates with no interest-based transactions. NGOs. “Ethical investing” and “moral purchasing” are encouraged. 64 . The Central Bank of Malaysia reports that 17 licensed Malaysian Islamic banks and four international Islamic banks operate in the country. but now owns only 13 percent of the Bank. The government Registrar of Societies has authority for registering religious organizations. The government funded the bank at its outset. notably Malaysia. The Hajj Fund. Indonesia and Bangladesh. which implements relief programming in Southeast Asia and around the world and has been active in Indonesia since 2000.108 All Malaysians are still required to list their religion on their identity cards. Religious Organizations. All banks in Malaysia that are Islamic or follow Islamic banking practices are required to display the Perbankan Islam logo (left). both in Malaysia and abroad. Malaysia’s developed economy and infrastructure facilitate its role as a regional hub for many NGOs.109 Malaysia’s educational systems still show the influence of a Muslim bearing. Islamic banking.
including the Gentle Fund Organization. an example being the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the National University of Singapore. 14 percent are Malay. including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). and the Salvation Army (Christian). The Baha’i Center.111 vides assistance to orphans and other disadvantaged young people in Vietnam. education and health care to displaced Afghans. and the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies. Singapore’s government has actively sought to foster understanding among Singapore’s diverse ethnic and faith groups. collaborates with nonMuslim religious organizations. Jamiyah Singapore. World Singapore Singapore has the 8th highest per-capita GDP in the world. whose research addresses a wide variety of region specific issues. which has their Southeast Asian/ East Asian headquarters in Singapore. and 1. which among its activities works on governance issues. 9 percent are Protestant Christian. In 2001. particularly in Southeast Asia. ABIM launched Misi Keamanan Sejagat (Global Peace Mission) to provide humanitarian aid. Approximately 77 percent of Singaporeans are Chinese. pro-foreign investment. Malaysia is home to numerous interfaith initiatives. Its achievement in promoting social harmony in its diverse population is another factor in Singapore’s success. and export-driven.112 The organization Mercy Relief brings together Singaporean youth from different faith communities to work on humanitarian charity projects in the region. The Canadian think tank International Development Research Centre (IDRC).5 percent belong to other ethnicities. By religion. Some other examples of non-Muslim organizations in Malaysia (some with regional mandates) include the Tzu Chi Foundation (Buddhist). the Adventist Development and Relief Organization (Christian). addressing both disaster relief and longer term development issues. despite some challenges of government restrictions. which pro- 65 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . and reports that none of its population lives below the poverty line. 4 percent are Hindu. 2001 attacks. 9 percent are Taoist. 15 percent are Muslim. approximately 42 percent are Buddhist. the world’s lowest infant mortality rate. combined with investments in strategic state-owned corporations that were directed toward the government. 1 percent follows other faiths. Examples include the Malaysia Interfaith Network. a Muslim missionary and humanitarian organization. IRCCs are informal entities intended to promote knowledge and understanding among religious and ethnic groups and also to keep track of grievances and signs of conflict at the community level (information which the national government also utilizes).110 World Vision Malaysia (Christian) operates in Malaysia with the specific mandate to raise funds and awareness for communities overseas. 64 other NGOs. notably Albanian Muslims in Bosnia and Palestinians. including Christian. and 15 percent claim no religious affiliation. 8 percent are Indian. Singapore is home to many universities. The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) frequently takes vocal stances in support of Muslim causes around the world. including recent joint efforts with the Singapore Hindu Endowments Board to raise money for earthquake victims in China and Myanmar. several regional secular organizations have their headquarters in Singapore. and the United Nations Population Fund interfaith forum “Strengthening Partnerships with Faith-based Organizations (FBOs) in Addressing ICPD. Several faith-inspired organizations in Singapore are involved in socio-economic development and relief work in Southeast Asia. The government mandated “interracial and religious confidence circles” (IRCCs) in the wake of the September 11. including those related to faith. Given Malaysia’s pluralistic ethnic and religious character. Buddhist and secular organizations have joined the cause. including interfaith efforts.” involving both Malaysian and Asian faith-inspired organizations.and post-disaster rehabilitation assistance. Singapore plays an important regional role. As a leader in development in the region. 5 percent are Catholic. including through a partnership with Soka Gakkai. Singapore’s Think Centre which works on strengthening civil society within the country and partners with organizations. The Baha’i community office of interfaith activities addresses significant work with youth. This success is partly attributable to an economic strategy adopted in the 1960s that was probusiness. as is heavy investment in education and aggressive campaigns to stop corruption. both national and international.
education. However. and emergency management. health. With religious tensions mounting in the region. As a proportion of total Australian development assistance. Christian Blind Mission. Other Christian faith-inspired organizations include. notably the Scalabrini Sisters in the Philippines. Feed The Hungry Australia. children and youth. The Baha’i community works both in Australia and abroad as well with a particular focus on indigenous rights in Australia. education. This is giving rise to a progressively more energetic set of organizations and influences. and Australia has supported interreligious dialogue in Indonesia and elsewhere over many years. health. including food security. specifically as a likely cause of migration from Southeast Asia countries to Australia. World Vision has been influential in advocacy work with the government for involving civil society in social development work.Vision’s Singapore office works both in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia. It is in this context that Australian faith-inspired organizations are active participants in development discussions and action across the region. as well as engaging in interfaith work on disaster relief and conflict resolution. Caritas Australia. Most of these organizations are attached to local churches that provide pastoral services. collaborating with local organizations on project implementation.8 billion of total official development assistance (ODA) in 2009–2010. Muslim Aid. especially from Indonesia.114 Apart from World Vision.115 Jesuit Refugee Service works with refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and the Southeast Asia region. A significant number of Muslim organizations are involved in development work in Southeast Asia countries. Australian faith-inspired organizations are actively engaged in relief and development work across Southeast Asia on topics including corruption. with respect to reach and budget. Climate change in particular has attracted recent much attention. with around 50 percent of all overseas giving.113 G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y climate change. and the environment and BERKLEY CENTER | 66 . Assemblies of God in Australia World Relief. as well as on advocacy and capacity building within the Church and with civil society on displacement in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Faith-inspired NGOs have focused on migrant worker rights. and diplomacy. Australia is a quite secular country. humanitarian relief. US$2. the top 10 NGOs in Australia raised $0. YWCA Australia. Australia Australia is active in all Southeast Asian countries in many domains. In 2009. This stance was one reason why the World Parliament of Religions met in Melbourne in December. training courses. there are numerous other Christian organizations involved in international development work. Habitat for Humanity (Australia). supports programming both in Australia and aboard. with significant development interests and activities throughout Southeast Asia. HOME. forecast to provide US$3. Baptist World Aid Australia. Of this figure. 2009. has partnered with faith-inspired organizations at home and abroad. TEAR Australia. a secular NGO. health. education. particularly through the Catholic Church. The largest faith-inspired development organization active in Southeast Asia. and leisure-time activities. Australia is one of the largest aid donors in the Pacific Rim.6 Billion. the Australian government and civil society have focused quite sharply on religion and particularly on interfaith dialogue and action. one of the largest. as well as continuing support for international development through the most recent world economic crisis. the percentage of development funds going to or through faith-inspired organizations is relatively small. Within Australia as well. Australia is an influential actor in regional development policy. and Palms Australia. Australian Relief and Mercy Services (ARMS). child protection. civil society strengthening. economic development. is World Vision Australia. World Vision Australia works with youth on education. and immigrant communities. including economics. good governance. and governance. are increasingly active in Australia. Christian Child Fund. human trafficking. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency Australia (ADRA) works across the Mekong region and the Pacific on a broad spectrum of relief activities. 70 percent of which was for faith-inspired organizations. but its religious communities tend to have strong ties to neighboring countries. Sisters of Mercy.82 billion is to go to the Asia Pacific region.
Germany. USAID financing of faith-based organizations abroad doubled. and environmental protection. five have state religions. the largest coalition of U. overseas development assistance and $6 billion in private funds. members of InterAction. In Germany.-based international NGOs. as an example. Thailand. Myanmar. works with Christian colleges and universities in the Philippines. of which many are faith-inspired.117 The United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. This section briefly highlights some major institutions and trends as they apply in Southeast Asia. The US government gives particular focus in its Asia Pacific strategy to regional cooperation.121 and Sweden legally separated church and state in 2000. a significant contributor to development policy dialogue and programs in the region. Denmark.8 billion in U. and short and long-term missions. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID). as well as Judaism (though not Islam—the third largest faith in the country). including Southeast Asia. conflict resolution. and New Zealand. the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. Of particular note is their dynamic and significant presence during major humanitarian emergencies. tuberculosis. working in Burma (Myanmar) and Indonesia on disaster relief assistance. 25 percent of students attend publically funded Catholic schools.S. In 2006.122 International aid in the European Union is channeled through two primary institutions: ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Aid Office) and the European Commissions’ External Co-operation 67 2010 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | .120 Apart from government funding. and Italy all subsidize faith-inspired organizations.118 The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has a 5 year. Indonesia. The share and form that this takes varies according to the statutes and traditions of each country in relation to religion. their work includes fund-raising. trafficking of people. are entitled to federally collected church taxes and have the right to run state-subsidized religious social services and hospitals. Between 2001 and 2005. including Australia. temples. and Thailand are among PEPFAR’s target countries. Areas of focus include human rights. and increase coordination with the key donors in the region.S. In 2007. This offers an example of a program which has worked purposefully to engage faith communities.” which engages organizations working worldwide. the Netherlands.119 Cambodia. including in Southeast Asia. Indonesia. The Asia Foundation is an example of a foundation that works closely with faithinspired organizations and the government. The Berkley Center reviews that focused on the United States and on Europe address the range and scope of faith-inspired work in those regions in far greater depth. Of the European Union’s (EU) 27 member-states. Austria. health. both domestically and internationally.United States and Europe The private roles of faith-inspired organizations from the United States and Europe across Southeast Asia are varied and. and it aims to emphasize regional responses as opposed to bilateral. notably the 2004 tsunami. The US government quite actively involves faith-inspired organizations in its development strategy. The actors range from large international organizations such as World Vision and Catholic Relief Service. with USAID funding. and Singapore. 34 percent of PEPFAR funds went to faith-inspired organizations. education. Fin land. Faithinspired organizations within the European Union receive subsidies both at the EU level and by national governments. including religious schools and social and health services. US foundations and private organizations actively work with faith-inspired organizations. Norway. In France. and malaria. to local churches. Japan. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is presently engaged in Southeast Asia as well with USAID support. and mosques engaged in community level relief and development. both within Europe and abroad. and Sweden are constitutionally secular states but provide direct or indirect subsidies for institutions associated with recognized faiths. Greece. France.116 AIDS. at times. has a small office for “faith-based and community initiatives. US$48 billion budget to combat global HIV/ Europe Religious leaders and faith-inspired organizations engage actively in social dialogue and development. managed $2. United States The large and diverse United States faith-inspired development community is active in most all Southeast Asian countries. collection of material donations. Taiwan. USAID’s total request for funds for the East Asia/Pacific region for fiscal year 2009 was approximately US$544 million.
temples. Many European based faith-inspired NGOs work in Southeast Asia. Netherlands. The largest European country donors include France. working through local partners and Catholic networks to reach difficult to access locations. including a large program in Indonesia. Tearfund UK. is one of the largest Muslim-inspired aid organizations in the world. headquartered in the Vatican. one of the largest and most active Catholic Charities in world. and Italy. or mosques). with a regional office located in Bangkok. Many international organizations headquartered in Europe work in Southeast Asia. including many United Nations institutions that cooperate to a degree with faith. United Kingdom. Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) (UK). UNESCO. has many programs in Southeast Asia. and FAO are examples).inspired organizations (WHO. Germany. and is active in multiple countries in Asia. WFP. churches. and World Vision Germany. Newly admitted countries to the EU are also creating international development agencies. Caritas Internationalis was one of the first responders to Cyclone Nargis in Burma (Myanmar). Sweden. Caritas Internationalis. headquartered in the United Kingdom. Progressio (UK).G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y Programs office (EuropeAid). Muslim Aid (UK). most EU countries have some form of institutionalized foreign aid mechanism. Christian Aid (UK). Other large European faith-inspired organizations include Cordaid (Netherlands). or decentralized through state registered organizations (ex. whether at the national level. BERKLEY CENTER | 68 . On a country level. Islamic Relief.
69 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 .
Coming from the perspective that development organizations have been overlooking the role and influence of religion on peoples’ lives. The essay contains information about Nahdlatul Ulama’s family planning campaign as well as the varied role of women and women’s organizations across the country. ed. Southeast Asia: An Environmental History. Baharuddin. This book discusses the correlation of population growth in the Philippines with issues of food security. David. Christopher. The social welfare of Muslim organizations. Asian Institution of Management. Singapore: A report on civil society organizations and activities. Commissioned by the International Development Research Center. Boomgard’s book gives a thorough environmental history of Southeast Asia. Peter. Ottawa: Kumarian International Development Research Center. 2009. 2004.pdf. Sharon M. A useful reference for examining regional cooperation around the environment in Southeast Asia. Consequently. 2009. culminating in the ecological effects of recent economic and population growth. They specifically blame the “EDSA system. Azizan. Policy Center. Chiang Mai Thailand: Silkworm Books. and economic growth. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. Philippines. 71 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . plans. “Presented at Conference—Preliminary Asian Cultural Forum—Connecting Networks. Luningning. A History of Cambodia. and how that has affected society. development. Bertrand.” Singapore: National University of Singapore.” in The Lab. China Everbest Printing Company. and the connectedness of religion and development. ASEAN Cooperation on Environment. it offers perspectives from practitioners of different faiths and their reflections on the Church. The authors argue that religion and personal faith can make positive contributions to development. 2007. Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 2008. and Nurjanah Siti.aseansec. http://www. housing. from prehistoric times to the present day. and the challenges and emerging issues surrounding land reform. “Women’s Empowerment through Islamic Organizations: The Role of the Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama in Transforming the Government’s Birth Control Programme into a Family Welfare Programme. 2004. The World Bank. The Anti-Development State: The Political Economy of Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. the authors argue. Beng Huat. wellesley.pdf.P. and women’s organizations (aided in part by a high level of internet connectivity) within Singaporean civil society are advancing change and to some degree contesting the status quo-conserving People’s Action Party government. Chua’s paper describes how arts. It raises interesting debate vis-à-vis the Catholic’s Church stance on contraception and birth control.” February 2004. 2005. Jacques.Appendix 1 Annotated Bibliography Achacoso-Sevilla.edu/Polisci/Candland/KBIndonesia. ed. Bertrand argues that recent ethnic and religious conflicts in Indonesia are the result of the constraints imposed by Suharto’s regime. It is of particular interest for gleaning insight into the role of religion confronting the environment today in light of a modernizing society. 2nd ed. Chapter 8 includes a discussion of Philippine land reform. Washington: The World Bank. religious. “Rediscovering the Resources of Religion. The author examines religious and ethnic conflict within the complex Indonesian context. New York: Zed Books.” and its weakness in disciplining private sector activity. go beyond a Muslim’s individual obligation to aid the poor through zakat. Boomgard. Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia. this book offers analyses on how different religions intersect with development and humanitarian work. Bello. basic education. http://www. as well as touching on the complex interplay between religion and the environment in the region. which left the country unprepared for political and social change. Chua. Makati City. Harper. and that some organizations have become important agents for social change. and government resources. health. 2000. The Temple and the Market: Reflections at the Intersection of Science.worldbank.org/INTARD/Resources/Ag_Land_ Redistribution. Bello and his co-authors attempt to explain the problems with poverty and underdevelopment that the Philippines has faced since the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) “revolution. the definition of the Indonesian nation and what it means to be Indonesian has come under scrutiny. initiatives and priority areas developed by ASEAN to address environmental issues that affect Southeast Asia. Religion and Development. Chapter 8. Hinduism. green. Walden. http://siteresources. Jakarta: ASEAN. Agricultural Land Redistribution: Toward Greater Consensus. It also outlines the governance structure of ASEAN as it pertains to implementing or addressing the above. The Ties that Bind: Population and Development in the Philippines. the World Bank. as a main factor in the economic-political problems that have mired the country since then. et al.” which unseated dictator Ferdinand Marcos. This section gives a general overview of programs. Candland. Of particular importance for this report is the discussion on the role of the Catholic Church in the pro-peasant movement encouraging rural farmers to claim rights to their land. Chandler. 2005.htm.org/8914.
Cima. Washington: Southeast Asia Studies Program.” Fund for Reconciliation & Development. 6 Dec 2008. and proposes interpretations through advanced comparative and contextual approaches. Jennifer.” Studies on Asia. have given NGOs in Vietnam greater ability to influence government activity with regard to their sectoral concerns. ed. Angkor (Cambodia). as well as about religion and development in Indonesia more generally. Jami. Vietnam: A Country Study. eds. the experience of some foreign religious organizations provides an alternative. and Michael Jennings.html. and trying to tease out the complexities of faith and its relationship to social dynamics. He pays special attention to the implications of recent history on present day Cambodia.Of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. “The Ordination of a Tree: The Buddhist Ecology Movement in Thailand. http:// news. This book includes a case study on Taiwan and the role of Buddhist organizations throughout Taiwanese history and their relationships with different systems of government. 1–15.” Nguoi-viet. “The Growing NGO Lobby in Vietnam. as well as an analysis of Cambodia in face of the changes presented to society by globalization.E.pdf. “Development Issues and the Role of Religious Organizations in Indonesia.unescobkk. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y 72 . and civil society in broad terms. 1 (Fall 2004). Farkas. both lack partitions between church and state. not only in South Asia. with notable attention to the reign of Pol Pot. Jan.org/refworld/ docid/469dc7b4c. as well as Chapter 6 focusing on the role of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines’ involvement in electoral politics and promoting citizen engagement after the Marcos regime. provides interpretations.org/ Foreign%20Religious%20Organizations%20in%20Vietnam.org/news/view_article. with information about their family planning campaign. Java (Indonesia). Development.” University of Pittsburgh. This background paper discusses the legal status of foreign religious organizations in Vietnam and how they are able to operate because of and despite of that status. development. 2004. Civil Society. Theodore. This volume includes a discussion of Buddhism and Catholicism in Vietnam (and a short section about some of the smaller. Tun-jen and Deborah A. 2008. Report in News. which mandate impact assessments for and the consultation of public opinion regarding new laws.html?article_id=7735 6f5298a3c964965a3e969fddc801. vol.org. 1998): pp. changes in government policy making in Vietnam. The paper provides a general framework to analyze the intersection of economics. in light of changing societal pressures in Thailand. ministry denies charges. the Prince. The report also cites government responses describing any conflict in Christian ethnic minority areas as “local” issues that are not based on religion because Laos “has a law guaranteeing religious freedom. 37. 2006. 2006. 1. Epley. Case studies on Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama are included.David Chandler provides an in-depth analysis of Cambodian history. Useful in examining the continued influence of Indian culture and Hinduism in Southeast Asia. This report recounts assertions by Lao exiles in France describing expulsions by Laotian government forces of Lao ethnic minority Christians who refuse to renounce their faith. 1987. Addresses the role of organizations in bolstering social services where government was lacking and their relationships with authoritarian governments and democratic ones. Inc. http://www. 21 March 2007. more nuanced view of the state of religion in present-day Vietnam. This text gives attention to those in Karnataka (India). It discusses theoretical aspects. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. no. and Tra Kieu (Vietnam). vol.” It raises the often close relationship between ethnic and religious conflicts. and Faith-Based Organizations. The authors find that while neither country promotes a state religion.. Clarke.” UNESCO Bangkok Office http://www.newamericamedia. http://countrystudies. Gerald. “Christians allegedly persecuted in Laos. Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia (Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology). A particularly interesting argument on the evolving relations between religion and the state in light of modernization and development. The author displays that Buddhist organizations have been an important actor in social service provision in Taiwan. Sharpe.unhcr. 2000. The essays in this book deal with different topics related to religion and society in the Philippines and Indonesia. ed.ffrd. A study of how ancient India’s incredibly rich literary heritage has been visually represented. carry the images of India’s great narratives. Ethnology. native Vietnamese religious groups). com. This book contains discussions of the intersection of faith. 1 (Winter.” Radio Free Asia. Religion and Religiosity in the Philippines and Indonesia. but also in Southeast Asia. eds. Brown. Religious Organizations and Democratization: Case Studies from Asia. taking a comparative look. Susan M. Ronald J. no. New York: M. Boston: Koln Brill. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress.org/fileadmin/user_upload/appeal/ gender/indonesia.us/vietnam/. including the creation of governmentsanctioned churches to control religious practice in the country.newamericamedia. Numerous temples. Friend. and politics with regards to development issues in Indonesia.pdf. It notes that while the Bush Administration and the Christian Right have criticized Vietnam for violations of religious freedom. “Foreign Religious Organizations in Vietnam: Law and Practice. Armonk. “Girls’ and Women’s Education in Indonesia. As recounted in this article. http://www. Cheng. Series II. An account of how monks in Thailand have used tree ordination for environmental protection. Fontein. religion. and Marijke Klokke. and the period following the Vietnamese invasion in 1979. Darlington.
Hertzke. Religion and Ecology in India and Southeast Asia. The Chinese In Malaysia (South-East Asian Social Science Monographs). undp. The Green Tiger: The Costs of Ecological Decline in the Philippines. This influential book analyzes the increasing trend of collaboration between affected groups on international issues of human rights. “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. limited access to scholarships. Yale University Press. in this edited volume. traditional role of women in society. 2001. UNDP discusses a conference held in Vientiane. Hing. Hefner. New York: UNODC. This press release describes some of the recent campaigns and operations against dissident Hmong ethnic and/or religious groups (mostly Buddhist and Christian) by the Lao People’s Army and government security forces. social justice. forcibly repatriate. the government. he argues. ed. Chapter 6 is a case study of Buddhist ecological thought and action in Thailand. Paul M. capture. and religious freedom in particular. 2001. Making Modern Muslims: The Politics of Islamic Education in Southeast Asia. 2004. regional. 2006. ramifications on relations between diverse Muslim communities. and the political ramifications at the national. This volume serves as a reference on the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippine’s (CBCP) actions on deforestation. Handley. Globalization. the author states. Laos in late August. 28 February 2010. This report first gives an overview of the global situation of human trafficking. The author proposes strategies to increase girls’ access to education at all levels. Especially interesting is the discussion of how the king. Barbara. harass. This is a comprehensive study of one of the three major ethnic groups which make up the Malaysian society and nation. 2007. as well as some of the Catholic Church’s broader environmental activism. 17 Oct 2007. Lee Kam.nz/stories/ WO0905/S00160. David L. are: limited family income.htm. particularly post September 11.e-ir. all have deeply rooted views on the environment. 2009. He cites human trafficking and track-two diplomacy as two areas of increased involvement. Nong Khai and Washington: Center for Public Policy Analysis. economic development. or even kill Hmong who have fled into Thailand (including some Lao American citizens). which included as participants Lao govern- 73 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . has heightened international awareness and increased engagement by religious interest groups. brings to light the challenges and realties facing Islamic education in Southeast Asia. and the various actors that are involved in education in Indonesia. and that their inclusion in policy discussions may contribute slowing the process of strengthening democratic institutions. the phenomenon that Hertzke describes is of particular importance for human trafficking. http://www. New York: United Nations Development Programme Newsroom. In some cases.An overview of the shortcomings in gender equality in the Indonesian school system. Allen. political. Allen Hertzke examines the role of international religious networks in engaging international relation and social causes across borders. http://content. discussing the contributions that notable Thai Buddhist figures such as Buddhadasa Bhikku and Sulak Sivaraksa have made in this area. The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej. His purpose in writing the book is to “shed light on the varieties and politics of Islamic education in modern Southeast Asia. Chapter 5 of this book discusses the connections between ecology and Buddhism. and environmental degradation. Gosling.org/go/newsroom/2007/october/lao-government-civilsociety-20071017. born in the United States and raised in Switzerland. and NGOs.” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “Lao Government and civil society move closer to one another. including state.co. came to hold the status of bodhisattva. Allen. from human trafficking to Tibet to Darfur as areas around which religions are working together for a common cause. Web. from a childhood in the West to ascending to the thrown in Thailand. Of particular relevance for this report is the author’s account of how the king today remains a symbol of unity despite the political tensions that are boiling in the country. given its regional/ transnational character.info/?p=3318. Hawaii University Press.scoop. February 2009. Robert. contextualizing it within the development of the latter.” Center for Public Policy Analysis. and religious actors. 2000. exploring both religious and secular schools. and then provides country profiles (categorized by region) for 155 UN member states regarding the status of human trafficking within each. and socio-cultural development of the Chinese in Malaysia. Includes statistics and data.” E International Relations. http:// www. Robert Hefner. the author’s analysis of Islamic influence on education in Malaysia and Cambodia highlighted regional tensions around the content of Islamic education. In the case of Southeast Asia. and international levels. but cooperation on environmental work can contribute to constructive progress.” For the purpose of this report. and Tan Chee Beng. 7 May 2009. “Hmong Suffer Religious Persecution in SE Asia. USA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. New York: Oxford University Press. The author provides a provocative account of the king’s life. non-state. His analysis of involvement in human trafficking is of particular interest in the Southeast Asia context. The main challenges to girls in attending school.” United Nations Development Programme. “The Globalization of Religious Advocacy in America. New York: Routledge. distance of schools. He cites specific examples.en. 28 July 2006. The author finds that religious organizations. economic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights. covering the historical. Goldoftas. the Thai government has helped these organs of the Laotian state track down. In this press release. Hertzke.
ac.” Asian Development Bank. 21 May 2009. but the future of non-profits in the country remains unclear. Nakashima.” http://www. New York/London: Routledge. and the multiple controversies surrounding their work. Through varied case studies from Malaysia. Mukhopadhyaya. Accessed 27 October 2009.com/ wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202182. This book contains information about transnational organizations. May 1999. the ICNL announces the promulgation by the Lao government of a decree regarding the regulation and operation of NGOs in Laos. their history. though.html. Richard. 23 Jun 2005. civil society and economics. in contrast to Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations.washingtonpost. as well as specific organizational involvement with the Asian development Bank.pdf. Ellen. including the high profile media coverage. There are. The author points to Thailand’s Buddhist heritage as being influential in informing a Thai understanding of governance. Pasuk. and economic realms.” International Center for Not-For-Profit Law. The paper argues that globalization and increased communications technologies have facilitated cross-cultural networking and information exchange between Buddhist organizations worldwide.icnl. This report provides an overview of the topography of NGOs and civil society in the Philippines.cuhk. Indonesia.adb. still challenges for Catholics. http://www.th/~ppasuk/culturalgovernance. Power. United States/ United Kingdom: Lynne Reinner Publishers. and Anders Uhlin.” Essay written for UNESCO. http:// www. 2007. The decree authorizes the Public Administration and Civil Service Authority to register and monitor these organizations. “Overview of NGOs and Civil Society: Philippines. and government and civil society representatives from several South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Political Islam in Southeast Asia. “Transnational Networks of Dharma and Development: Engaged Buddhism in the Era of Globalization. http:// pioneer.edu. notably Tzu Chi and their role in bridging the gap between civil society and government and the oftentimes fluid relationship between organizations and the government. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y 74 . For the purpose of this report.” “Presented at 2009 Academic Conference on Humanistic Buddhism—Taiwan. including religious organizations and their work in relief and development in Asia. staff and organizational capacity. Transnational Religion and Fading States. particularly compared to other faiths.” manifesting itself differently in each country. Provides an excellent overview of transnational Buddhist organizations in Asia. Westwood Press. Susanne Hoeber.pdf.htm. Piscatori. 2008. Transnational Activism in Asia: Problems of Power and Democracy. He provides discussion on the recent divisions within Islam. both in the definition. 19 January 2009.org/KnoWleDge/news/2009/05-21. The authors specifically focus on how transnational civil society groups and their activities are related to democracy at the macro and micro levels. In this press release. related to this. Phongpaichit. between liberal and moderate views and more fundamentalist or radical views. and in practice. “Lao PDR Approves Decree for Non-Profit Associations.” looks at local origins of conflict and the potential of religious organizations to make peace as well as war.netserv. to politics. as well as their promotion of social accountability. and Rudolph. A discussion of the four largest Taiwanese religious organizations. the article notes. the author argues the point that Islam in Southeast Asia in not a monolithic voice. its international network and linkages. This article details the gains in freedom of worship (which are partly due to the Vietnamese government’s 2004 Ordinance on Religion) that some Catholics in Vietnam have enjoyed. http://www.” The New Yorker. including one of Shanti Volunteer organization and their work in the refugee camps along the Thai-Cambodia border. and some Catholic clergy continue to be persecuted and imprisoned for “unpatriotic” activities. collaboration with local authorities.and its influence on politics. 2009. beginning to create a framework for future cooperation between government and civil society. education. Piper. as well as in regional narrative.hk/crs/cshb/conference/note/march09/Paper_Ranjana%20Mukhopadhyaya. legal status. “Progress and Struggle for Vietnam’s Catholics. particularly from Japan. 1997. Nicola. or meaning. “The Enforcer. In general. The author. as well as religious roles in adding an ethics. and the effects of each on the political. The article reports on the Christian organization. Means. This book examines how the transnational nature of religious movements leads to the formation of transnational civil society and a fading state sovereignty. educational. Washington: International Center for Not-For-Profit Law. and their activities to rescue victims of human trafficking. members of Lao civil society. Samantha. Democracy’s Dharma: religious renaissance and political development in Taiwan University of California Press. James. The report highlights the impressive capacity of civil society organizations in the Philippines. this conference was aimed at helping the Lao government understand the potential role for Lao civil society in development and. This book provides an in-depth analysis of Islam in Southeast Asia. “Cultural factors that shape governance in South-East Asia. but rather “a religion of many faces. Thailand. the essay examines the cultural aspects that contribute to a population’s understanding of governance.doc. Gordon P. A Christian lawyer’s global crusade. International Justice Mission.” The Washington Post.chula. the Vietnamese government still does not have diplomatic relations with the Holy See. and the Philippines. The article brings to light the positive work the organization does. Madsen.ment officials. 2004. its historical progression in Southeast Asian societies. The author provides multiple case studies.org/Documents/Reports/ Civil-Society-Briefs/PHI/CSB-PHI. as there is no standing law regulating their activity. Ranjana.
but that Islamic influence on economic development has been marginal. particularly at the village level. 75 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | 2010 . Winter. and Society in Laos. Chang. This volume situates the socio-legal status of Indonesian. New York: Routledge.org/content/UN_Says_Human_Trafficking_ Appears_To_Be_Worsening_/1492561.hrw. The author examines Malaysia’s impressive economic growth and the role of Islamic thought and practice in this growth. November 2009.C. Sabharwal. 2002.” Human Rights Watch. it highlights some of the heritage.” Journal of Islamic Studies 9:2 (1998): 259–276. 2008. “Singapore’s Approach to Counterterrorism: From Social Resilience to Public Imagination. Culture. Asia on Tour: Exploring the rise in Asian Tourism.” Johannesburg: CIVICUS. the Vietnamese government imprisoned members of independent Buddhist groups.” Singapore: IntSight. Peggy Teo. and the legal framework in which these organizations operate. The author examines domestic and regional tourism. religion. are enabling an increasing number of Asians to travel as tourists. culture. “Islam and Malaysia’s Economic Development. Rodney. Malaysia. Around this time. New York. Web. even though a majority of the countries surveyed in the report have enacted laws against the practice. and Thailand.rferl. This paper discusses the government’s establishment of Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles in Singapore as part of the government’s anti-terrorism strategy. Human Rights Watch discussed the restrictions on religious freedom and human rights that occurred even as Vietnam hosted the United Nations Day of Visak (the sacred Buddhist holiday). more effective border security does not appear to be a key factor in stemming the practice. and how improvements in infrastructures. http://www. Gita. “Vietnam: Religious Freedom Denied. as well as government antagonism of animism. In this article. and includes some comments by UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa about the report.org/component/content/article/176/32074. as much of the trafficking is intrastate. and increased globalization. New York.html. the legal and institutional frameworks of the respective countries. rather than Westerners. as opposed to interstate. “Sociolegal Status of Women in Indonesia. http://www. the different types of organizations within Vietnamese civil society.” Radio Free Europe News—Prauge: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Routledge. and development that draw particular international attention in Asia. Manila: Asian Development Bank. and international treaties. He concludes that Islam has been an important factor in Malaysia’s political evolution. and Than Thi Thien Huong. The author cites this effort as a contributor to Singapore’s relative stability amid an array of lowintensity conflicts in Southeast Asia. The book focuses on the rise of tourism in Asia among Asians. Malaysian. Yuit. For the purposes of this report. Additionally. Tim. It mentions different hybridizations between the two faiths. Philippines.org/en/news/2008/05/07/ vietnam-religious-freedom-denied. Boike. liberalized economies. Jul 2005. The situation of human trafficking seems to be worsening. 2007. globalpolicy. Wilson. It offers country-specific recommendations for legal reform. Globalization.” Asian Development Bank. and T. The authors of this paper discusses the changing context for civil society in Vietnam. Gavin Chua Hearn. Chapter 9 of this book includes a brief discussion of animism in Laos and its relationship to Buddhism. Human Rights Watch calls on the Vietnamese government to release people imprisoned for peaceful religious or political activities and end restrictions on independent religious organizations who choose not to affiliate with the officially authorized religious organizations under the control of the government. http://www. and how donors interact with Vietnamese civil society. and Thai women in the context of economic globalization. 13 Feb 2009. “Civil Society in Vietnam. Philippine. increasing disposable incomes.html.Rehbein. “UN Says Human Trafficking Appears To Be Worsening. This article summarizes some of the findings of the 2009 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. 8 May 2008.
Europe. Coverage of Timor-Leste and the South Pacific is less detailed.e-ir. Chang. It also explores work in several of the region’s wealthier countries. the Social Science Research Council is engaged in a research project that focuses specifically on religious roles in conflict. Laos. “Regional Review Buddhist Leadership Initiative. (accessed 21 February.georgetown. 5. July 2009. A commitment to global community based on the universal truths of wisdom and compassion guides all of INEB’s activities. It reflects some information covering Asia.8599. as well as Europe and the United States. 14 April. “Aceh Province Legislators Vote to Impose Stricter Sharia Law. more broadly defined. This report focuses on the lower income countries of Southeast Asia: Indonesia.html (accessed 21 April 2010). 2004. “Indonesia’s Aceh Passes Stoning Bill. Transnational Religion and Fading States. 19 January 2009. 77 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS 6. 12.” Hindu Press International.no-trafficking.” The New Yorker. | . 10. http://www.” Radio Free Europe.time. gender issues. 13 February 2009.” Georgetown/On Faith Washington Post Blog.org/ content/UN_Says_Human_Trafficking_Appears_To_Be_ Worsening_/1492561. and peaceful world. David Steinberg. and development.rferl.com/onfaith/georgetown/ 009/08/faith_in_health_1.00. 26. New York: 2009). http://www.8599. Engaged Buddhism.time.com/time/world/article/0.edu/wfdd.htm. “The Enforcer. and World Affairs: http:// berkleycenter. 24. (Westwood Press. A Christian lawyer’s global crusade. began in February 1989 in Thailand at a conference of 36 concerned ordained and lay people from 11 countries organized by Sulak Sivaraksa.” From the organization website— http://www. 15. 25. The network expanded through out years and included members—individuals and organizations—from more than 20 countries from Asia.inebnetwork. 28 February 2010. 20.unicef. 2010 2.org/eapro/AW_ BLI_2Sep09. Peggy Teo.org/cambodia. “International Religious Freedom Report 2009—Indonesia.html (accessed 13 April 2010). 7. Conducted by Michael Bodakowski. “Hindu and Buddhist Clergy Convene In Cambodia.” United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy.org/web/. and ecological problems.” Voice of America. 2004).com/ time/world/article/0. “The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB). 14. Jan Fontein and Marijke Klokke. http://www. state. diversity tolerance and interfaith dialogue. 13.1923211. “UN Says Human Trafficking Appears To Be Worsening. Hannah Beech. “Interfaith Health-Care Reform. Luce Foundation. 26 October. Philippines. Tim Winter.pdf. 16. political. An understanding of engaged Buddhism has emerged which integrates the practice of Buddhism with social action for a healthy. Berkley Center for Religion. James Piscatori and Susanne Hoeber Piscatori. peacebuilding. Cambodia. spirituality based development. Samantha Power.C. USA. 6 November 2009. 15 September 2009.edu/topics/religion-andglobal-development?record_type=organizations. (accessed 26 March 2010). Allen Hertzke. Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia—Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology. http://berkleycenter. originated about 25 years ago with the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and is concerned with utilizing Buddhist teachings to confront and act upon social. Human Rights. Allen Hertzke. Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights. 4. 19.html. http://www.com/modules/xpress/2009/02/15/. and Burma (Myanmar). Thais Mulle as a Divided Nation. human rights. http://www.00. http://www1. also referred to as socially engaged Buddhism.1891171. “Bangkok Protests End.georgetown. 18. 15 September 2009. Thailand. one of the largest international engaged Buddhist networks.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127271.Endnotes 1. voanews. http://www. Interview with Dr.com/english/news/a-13-2009-09-15-voa9-68709782. (Boston: Koln Brill.” E International Relations. 9. 1997). 2009.georgetown. 2000). 2. Asia on Tour: Exploring the rise in Asian Tourism.hinduismtoday. 15 February 2009. http://newsweek. http://www. With support from the Henry R. just. http:// www.” Time Magazine. United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP).html (accessed 16 March 2010). Maruyama Teruo. html.edu/ World Faiths Development Dialogue: http://berkleycenter. and Labor.html (accessed 18 March 2010). Ibid. Ibid.” Time Magazine.info/?p=3318. and other thinkers and social activists Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Ibid. Hannah Beech. (accessed 23 February 2010). Vietnam. 11. 22. America and Australia. INEB’s areas of concern have centered on peace. 16 August 2009. 17. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. that have significant transnational activities in Southeast Asia. 2010). Peace. 8. 23. Katherine Marshall. and T. in partnership with CNN.washingtonpost. 3. “The Globalization of Religious Advocacy in America. (accessed 18 March 2010). (Routledge. Ibid. 21.” UNICEF EAPRO.
The distinction.org/public/english/region/ asro/bangkok/library/download/pub06-07. United Nations (New York: 2009) Table A. “Overview—Basic Education For All. Asian Development Bank (Manila: 2005).org/indonesia/education. David Chandler.3 percent of the population. 2006.” Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. 49. Oceania. Karin Schelzig.pdf (accessed 14 April 2010). 2009. 1 no.1. http://www. Australia.unicef. 171. Asian Development Bank. 45.nu. Poverty in the Philippines: Income.pdf (accessed 29 March 2010).usaid. 46. 53.html (accessed 15 April 2010). http://indonesia.edu/studiesonasia/ s3_v1_n1/3_1_1Epley.edu/Polisci/Candland/ KBIndonesia. traditionalists is a term applied to those who tend to practice Islam as it traditionally has been adhered to in Indonesia.27.edu/Cambodia_ Consultation_Interview_Compilation. 14 October 2009. “Family and Community Health. “Listening to Muslim Communities—MCC Partners with Muslim Communities Worldwide to Reduce Poverty. Cameron Lowry. Silkworm Books (Chang Mai. http://www. http://www. vol. Ibid. Chris Donnges. “Interfaith Dialogue: Program Description. “Development Issues and the Role of Religious Organizations in Indonesia. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y 78 . Series II.id/page. Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) was founded in 1914. Jennifer Epley. with some citing a tendency towards convergence.doc/factsheet-101409-listening-to-muslimcommunities.who.adb. 42.” United States Agency for International Development.” USAID: Indonesia Webpage.id/eng/ ourworks. 32.ilo. http://www. http://hdrstats. Promote Economic Growth.or. gov/mcc/bm. http://www. is often difficult to discern. usaid. Phnom Penh.pdf (accessed 29 March 2010).un. http://www.. 39. 15.html (accessed 15 April 2010). Ibid.pdf (accessed 14 April 2010). Hawaii—Asia Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative. December 14–15. 5. 41. https://www. 14–16 July. Phnom Penh. Christopher Candland and Nurjanah Siti.worldbank. 30. 44.” February 2004. http://www. Cambodia.wellesley. 28.asp?id=ow3 (accessed 15 April 2010). 35. Ronald E.georgetown.” Bangkok: International Labor Office. Asia.html (accessed 15 April 2010). The church has a membership of 2. 52. Ibid.pdf (pg. December 2007.” USAID: Indonesia Webpage.org/en/ countries/country_fact_sheets/cty_fs_IDN. http://www. php?lang=en.eastwestcenter.gov/en/ cross_cutting/inter_faith_dialogue/ (accessed 15 April 2010). Ummah Fi Salam—http://berkleycenter. “Civil Society Engagement in Asia: Six Country Profiles. http://web. http://www.edu/ interviews/a-discussion-with-maguid-maruhom-executivedirector-ummah-fi-salam. “Interfaith Dialogue: Program Description. 33.htm (accessed 14 April.org/fileadmin/resources/ research/PDFs/Combined_country_reviews.pdf (accessed 15 April 2010). http://countrystudies. Its membership has since spread to overseas Filipinos in over 60 countries in North America. 2008. December 14–15.” Millennium Challenge Corporation Fact Sheet. http://www. GPO for the Library of Congress.us/philippines/34. Web. http://indonesia. United Nations Development Programme. “World Population Prospects.isp. Philippines: A Country Study.” World Health Organization—Indonesia Webpage. “The World Bank and Education in Indonesia. 17. Human Development Report 2009: Indonesia.” Civil Society Briefs. Washington. Cambodia.org/ WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/ EASTASIAPACIFICEXT/INDONESIAEXTN/0. From Workshop on Global Development and Institutions Inspired by Faith. 43. 57). A History of Cambodia. and Access. 50. Socio-Pastoral— http://repository.pdf (accessed 30 March 2010). 34. 29. Ibid..” Studies on Asia.georgetown. and maintains significant political influence because of its growing membership and resources.undp. 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htm (accessed 27 October. Bjorn Blengsli. “International Religious Freedom Report 2009. Hamza. http://www.” The Irrawaddy. 61.” Economy Watch. see Grim.” Reuters India. religjournal. thehostserver. Initiated by UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) and Country Offices. Ibid.wiserearth. 63.unicef. was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok.pdf.economywatch.html (accessed 14 November 2009). Interview with Mr. “Muslim Metamorphosis: Islamic Education and Politics in Contemporary Cambodia. 2) Increasing community acceptance of adults and children living with HIV and AIDS.intgcm. vol. 37. Bureau of Democracy. http://www. Bureau of Democracy. http://www.jica.pdf. Susan M Darlington. “Built to Order: Myanmar’s New Capital Isolates and Insulates Junta.pdf. 30 January 2009. 58.cia. http://www. China. Lao PDR and Burma (Myanmar) on 23 July 1997.php?art_ id=17187 (accessed 10 November 2009). 26 October 2009. Interview with Elder Nelson and Elder Whitesides. David Steinberg. “The Ordination of a Tree: The Buddhist Ecology Movement in Thailand. 64. Conducted by Michael Bodakowski.55. 28 July. Vietnam on 28 July 1995. “Thai unemployment to jump in 2009 -planning agency. 57. “Meeting Diary. For detailed description of methodology and data. January 2003. Government Favoritism. 2006).com/ economy-business-and-finance-news/Thailand_Economy_ Thailand_GDP_and_Thai_Tourism_Plummeting_Thanks_ to_Political_Violence.html.org/CN-PONREPP. 1.com/diary2007_291st. CIA World Factbook.” UNICEF EAPRO. 73. the BLI was introduced in five countries (Cambodia.S Department of State. 174–175. and Labor.” Time Magazine. International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation. 10 November 2009. http://www. “A Closer Look at Burma’s Ethnic Minorities. 2009). Bjorn Blengsli. “Foreign Religious Organizations in Vietnam: Law and Practice. Conducted by Katherine Marshall. The Global Fund to fight AIDS. 69. https://www. 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The primary objective of the BLI is to mobilize Buddhist monks and nuns to lead through 1) Increasing access to care and support for adults and children living with HIV and AIDS and children affected by AIDS. 83. 75. 56. The ECVN was formed in 1927 and recognized in 1963. Ibid. 14 August. 12 November 2009. Philippines. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984. “International Religious Freedom Report 2009. 20 August 2009. Singapore and Thailand. Paul M Handley.irrawaddy.htm (accessed 2 December.html.gov/g/ drl/rls/irf/2009/127289. and Labor. http://in.Thailand. particularly among youth.” http://www.Thailand. 77. Lao PDR. CIA World Factbook.cia. the full Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan can be found at http://www. 16 April 2009. ed. 8 December 2009.” University of Pittsburgh Of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the initial member countries.” in Making Modern Muslims: The Politics of Islamic Education in Southeast Asia. 176. Human Rights. Article 1. 76.” 291st Meeting of the Informal Northern Thai Group. 76.aseansec. 72. and Social Regulation of Religion in Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion.jp/english/countries/asia/.gov/library/publications/ the-world-factbook/geos/bm. or ASEAN. Ethnology. Robert Hefner (Hawaii University Press: 2009).com/2008/06/24/world/asia/24myanmar-sub.gov/library/publications/ the-world-factbook/geos/th. 85. “Thailand Economy: Thailand GDP and Thai Tourism Plummeting Thanks to Political Violence. “Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. http://www. Volume 2. 11. http://www.org/ documents/publications/other/FBOReport/GlobalFund_ FBO_Report_en. (Yale University Press.pdf. “Suu Kyi’s Release?. Japan International Cooperation Agency. Hannah Beech. go. and Finke.” New York Times. 24 June 2008. 2006. 62. (Winter 1998): 1–15. 82. Roger. Human Rights. namely Indonesia. https://www. Tuberculosis.” U.com/article/ specialEvents4/idINBKK4598920081208 (accessed 23 October 2009).state. September 2004. 78.html# (accessed 10 November. Thailand. 68.org/ organization/view/d7701b2cbfd8d7815e07b7a78307b284 (accessed 16 November 2009). no.state.reuters. Brian J. 79.org/eapro/AW_BLI_2Sep09. 59. For more information on the Cyclone Nargis Response. Interview with Dr. From http://www. while the larger SECV was recognized in 2001. Conducted by Augustina Delaney and Michael Scharff.” U. 66.gov/g/ drl/rls/irf/2009/127289. The Buddhist Leadership Initiative (BLI) is a regional strategy for Buddhist involvement in the response to HIV and AIDS in the Mekong Sub-region. and Cambodia 2010 79 BERKLEY CENTER REPORTS | . “Report on the Involvement of Faith-Based Organizations in the Global Fund. Ibid.
nat.” BBC Religions. 108. and Labor. The full conference report can be obtained at: http://www. Nanzaon Institute for Religion and Culture (2004): 417–428. ac.asp?xItem=83031&CtNode =1337&mp=1.erenlai. “Tzu Chi relief efforts in the Philippines and Indonesia. BERKLEY CENTER | G E O R G E TOW N U N I V E R S I T Y 80 . Conducted by Katherine Marshall.kr/eng/01about/news_view. Interview with Gene Reeves. “Transcending the Border: Transnational Imperatives in Singapore’s Migrant Worker Rights Movement. Bureau of Democracy.pdf (accessed 18 November 2009). Transnational Activism in Asia: Problems of Power and Democracy. https://www. 96.” 4 September 2009. gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127269.htm (accessed 19 April 2010). Ibid.” Relief Web. “A Brief Overview of Buddhist NGOs in Japan. http://taiwanreview. Jonathan S.on 30 April 1999. “Shinto at a Glance. “Malaysia Religion.aseansec.W.” Center for Strategic and International Studies in Cooperation with the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life. 112.”http://www. and cultural issues across the region. 116.S Department of State.cseas. 95.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 31/2.” Thailand Law Forum. 25 November 2009.org/webdav/site/global/shared/documents/publications/2009/faith_based_org_forum. http://www. From http://www. 25 November 2009. Consultant to Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation. Figures from the Australian Council for Overseas Development (ACFID) for 2009. A comprehensive list of NGOs operating in Korea.pdf (accessed 18 November 2009). (New York. 98.com/asialaw/articles/ngo. 94. 88.htm (accessed 2 December.shtml (accessed 9 March 2010).hk/crs/cshb/conference/ note/march09/Paper_Ranjana%20Mukhopadhyaya.gio.co. 114.int/rw/rwb. Human Rights.state. and Labor.tripod.org/files/Event__ Transcript_%20Ambassador_%20Ichiro_%20Fujisaka.” Taiwan Review.htm (accessed 8 December. K. 2010). The Berkley Center reviews are available at the following websites: Review on the United States—http://berkleycenter. The organization collaborates on economic. “US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report 2009—Taiwan. 101. http://www.gov.” Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. political. Democracy’s Dharma: Religious Renaissance and Political Development in Taiwan.” Stratfor Global Intelligence.au. “Japan: Reasserting Influence in the Mekong River Region.worldvision.tw/ct. 2009). http://www.PDF.reliefweb.com/media/downloads/Religious%20 Organizations. http://pewforum.” in Taiwan Yearbook 2006.” U.pdf. 103.org/files/South_Korea. “Asia in the Coming Years. or. Nicola Piper and Uhlin Anders. 2006.org. www.devdir. Taiwan. 17 December 2008. Ibid. 100. “World Vision Influences Korea Government on Child Protection. no 1. 92.” http://www. requiring all religious organizations to register with the government under the Societies Act. http://www. 110.state.kyoto-u. 194. Human Rights. including many faith-inspired organizations can be found at: http:// www. 2009). 99. 111.tw/taiwan-website/5-gp/ yearbook/ch21.html. Khadijah Khalid Md. “US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report 2009—Taiwan. 89. 109. 2004). 136.” in The of China Yearbook 2009— Taiwan. 105. “Chapter 21: Religion. “Malaysia’s Growing Economic Relations with the Muslim World. (March 2009): 89–112.carnegieendowment. unfpa.org/military/world/malaysia/religion.” Global Security.html (accessed 19 April. Singapore ranks high in government restriction. Lenore Lyons. “Taiwan’s “Other” Miracle. http://www. Conference on Monday. Watts. 102.nsf/db900sid/ MYAI-7WS2UN?OpenDocument (accessed 30 November 2009). http://members. Ibid.” U. University of California Press. Interview with David Steinberg. Richard Madsen. http://www. “Religion in Taiwan.edu.gov. Interview with Rob Kilpatrick of World Vision Australia by Michael Bodakowski.asp?b_seq=8365&b_ category=eng_news (accessed 27 April 2010).html (accessed 2 November 2009). 106.” Critical Asian Studies. 86. gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/127269. Conducted by Michael Bodakowski. London: Routledge.” Event of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace with Ichiro Fujisaki— Japanese Ambassador to the US. 26 September 2005. Simon. According to the Pew Forum study: Global Restrictions on Religion.cuhk.pdf. Ranjana Mukhopadhyaya. 113.bbc. 97. 115. 93.com/ analysis/20091106_japan_reasserting_influence_mekong_ river_region (accessed 18 November 2009). 87. 104. http://kyotoreview. “Building a “Harmonious Society” in China: NonGovernmental and Faith-Based Organizations as Agents of Social Change and Stability.org/ docs/?DocID=492.html.jp/issue/issue4/index. 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