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LYNC develops robust and validated long-term methods and models to promote Religious Freedom and Social Cohesion. 

Until now, there have only been two instruments for measuring Religious Freedom: incidences of social hostility and non-compliance with international standards. LYNC is developing a third approach by constructing a new multi-year, multi-performance strategy to advance Religious Freedom globally.

 

LYNC creates and fosters solid and proven strategies

Actively Promoting Religious Freedom and Social Cohesion

In 2021, LYNC co-organized two events — a certificate course Religion and Rule of Law (RROL) funded by Templeton Religion Trust, and a conference “Prospects for a New Central Asia: Religion’s Role in Forming a Stable and Democratic Society,” funded by Brigham Young University Center for Law and Religion Studies (BYU) as well as participated at the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions organized and funded by the Kazakhstani government. All these LYNC activities aim to advance religious freedom and social cohesion by integrating Covenantal Pluralism[1] into the social fabric.

[1] “Covenantal pluralism” as enabling cooperative, respectful, and constructive engagement across differences. More specifically, covenantal pluralism is the commitment to engage, respect and protect the other, without necessarily conceding equal veracity or moral equivalency to the beliefs and behaviors of others.

LYNC creates and fosters solid and proven strategies

Actively Promoting Religious Freedom and Social Cohesion

In 2022, LYNC, together with its regional and international partners, convened a first-of-its-kind Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy Training Program in Shymkent for the Kazakhstani government and law enforcement officials despite the pandemic, internal instability, and geopolitical challenges. The training, funded by Templeton Religion Trust, offered timely strategic support to the civil society and government of Kazakhstan, who has pledged its ongoing commitment to building religious freedom. Fifty-seven participants ranging from prosecutors, law enforcement officers, religious affairs officials, Muslim imams, Orthodox priests, and evangelical pastors acquired knowledge based on applicable case studies of American, England, Indonesian, and Vietnamese reforms and implementation best practices.

Since 2019, LYNC has consistently implemented the three core elements- multi-faith relationship building, religious literacy, and all-inclusive dialogue- of what TRT calls “covenantal pluralism”1. The success of this recent certificate program is neither a beginning nor an end but is a critical, positive milestone in collaboration. LYNC’s three-year program aims to create a bottom-up request for religious law reforms in Kazakhstan and this milestone marks the mid-point of the strategy. The achieved progress in building religious freedom is fragile and requires the recognition and support from the international community and the United States government to continue its momentum.

LYNC's Three Pillars of Action

Religious Freedom, Fostering Pluralistic Communities, and Safeguarding Hope in Ukraine

Religious Freedom
  • Creating a free, safe environment to worship with mutual consideration and respect  
  • Encouraging equal representation of religious minorities  
  • Top/down, bottom/up reciprocity among government, religious communities, and civil society  
Fostering Pluralistic, Multicultural Communities
  • Promoting equally represented religious literacy  
  • Hands-on/hands-off approach focusing on assisting local leaders to operate in their context  
Safeguarding Hope in Ukraine
  • “Hope Ukraine” Women’s Club for internally displaced Ukrainians in Bautzen, Germany  
  • Training for children’s trauma therapy healing in Central Ukraine
  • Mercy Houses for Ukraine’s elderly in need  

We serve using instruments of Covenantal Pluralism

Multi-Faith Relationship Building   

  • LYNC hosts multi-faith retreats, and imam-pastor-rabbi teams moderate  
  • Once qualified, imams, pastors, and rabbis complete Training for Trainers to learn how to host retreats in their own communities

Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy  

  • LYNC creates a CCRL curriculum to address a post-soviet mindset toward religion for the government and law enforcement officials in the post-communist countries. 
  • LYNC partners with diverse academic institutions in the US and Central Asia  

Religion in the Public Square  

  • Local FoRB roundtables initiated by civil society.  
  • Local multi-faith teams lead roundtables.  
relationship building works

Years of Engagement Yields Results

The U.S. State Departments’ 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom: Kazakhstan, highlights the cooperation between LYNC and Kazakhstan’s Committee of Religious Affairs (CRA). 

Over the years, LYNC has actively engaged CRA delegates from the six Kazakh regions with invitations to training and one-on-one meetings. Slowly, LYNC demonstrated relationship-building and the advantages of building bridges, the tenets of Covenantal Pluralism in everyday language, and examples in local context.  

Through incremental exposure, these delegates returned to their regions, spread the word, and created conversation at the higher central government level, including the Security Council. This report marked the first time LYNC’s efforts were named, and highlighted CRA’s successful engagement. 

As a result of this work, on social media, the embassy engaged in outreach to urge respect for religious freedom, the report says. 

Aiding Refugees, Widows, Orphans and the Elderly Affected by War

Since the first military invasion in 2014, LYNC has mobilized resources and its network to provide critical aid to those who need it the most. In early 2022, LYNC assisted in evacuating over 4,000 Ukrainians and is now working in-country to care for refugees, women, children, and the elderly affected by war. Our latest partnerships in Ukraine focuses on providing humanitarian aid, housing, and trauma-healing therapy to internally displaced Ukrainians affected by the ongoing attacks.  

Our Numbers Are Growing

LYNC has hosted 62 events in Central Asia across four countries-

Kazakhstan
Uzbekistan
Kyrgyzstan

And helped over 10,000 Ukrainian IDPs and refugees since 2014.

Join our strategic vision

In light of the growing geopolitical, economic, and religious tensions worldwide, LYNC needs the resources to meet with more critical governments and religious leaders to implement our successful model of religious reconciliation. In 2024, we will continue to meet with government and religious leaders in and beyond Central Asia and are already constructing programs in the United States for 2024. Moreover, the enduring consequences of the physical, emotional, and psychological hardships experienced by displaced Ukrainians in their struggle to survive the ongoing conflict caused by Russian aggression are evident. Your assistance is more vital than ever.

We Welcome Financial Transparency

View our 2022 Financial Report