The Ministerial Provides An International Platform for LYNC to Present Its Emerging Model Between Civil Society, Religious Groups and the Government in Kazakhstan
LONDON (July 20, 2022). With more than a decade of experience in Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoBR) development in former Soviet space, Love Your Neighbor Community (LYNC) was invited to participate in the 2022 International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Taking place July 5th and 6th in London, England, the Ministerial convened governments, parliamentarians, faith and belief representations and civil society. Representatives of national governments were asked to review a set of overarching conference statements, including thematic statements, covering issues of freedom and religion or belief. To mark their commitment and ongoing projection of FoBR, the representatives were asked to sign the statements. For each statement, a corresponding thematic panel discussion was hosted. LYNC’s founder, Wade Kusack was invited to participate on the themed “Civil Society as a Driver for Change” panel (see video below) due to the organization’s strides in relationship-building in Central Asia across more than a decade.
“In every country where we operate, the religious majority is complaining about a loss of members and influence. The majority groups recognize the need to reshape their public identity,” said Kusack. “Covenantal pluralism enables them to do so without jeopardizing their fundamental beliefs and theology. It aids in conforming to current societal development and competing with the extremist groups on a global scale; and if the elements of covenantal pluralism are structured in a certain way, it certainly aids the government with the religious policy reforms.”
Kusack explained covenantal pluralism entails cooperative, respectful, and constructive engagement across differences, enabling dialogue across daily life through practical opportunities. The elements of covenantal pluralism including: Multi-faith and multi-ethnic relationship building, cross-cultural religious literacy and the engagement of all religions, majority and minorities, registered and unregistered in Central Asia’s context, into public square discussion.
LYNC is currently implementing these elements through its leadership of a multi-year project in Kazakhstan funded by Templeton Religion Trust entitled “Developing Covenantal Pluralism in Modern Kazakhstani Society.” Recent project success includes the 2021 MOU signing between the Government of Kazakhstan and LYNC signaling in front of the international community Kazakhstan’s commitment to protecting and expanding religious freedom through multi-faith dialogue and the pursuit of covenantal pluralism. Additionally, a MOU roadmap was created with action items to equip government leaders on religious freedom best practices and simultaneously equip citizens to exercise religious freedom responsibly using established international models and best practices. Earlier this year as part of the MOU roadmap, LYNC successfully led a well-received cross-cultural religious literacy training for law enforcement and government leadership with leading partners in international religious freedom and Kazakh civil society.
You can watch the video of the presentation here