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IL News 014/2015

Poster, ready to be printed in A3 size.

Essay Guidelines must read before submission.


Essay Contest Guidelines
Religious Freedom in Southeast Asia and the West


Essays must compare the formation of religious freedom in one or more Southeast Asian countries (or Southeast Asia as a whole) with the formation of religious freedom in one or more countries in the West (or the West as a whole). Essays can discuss key socio-political factors, legal contexts, individual leaders, and/or major current and emerging issues and threats related to religious freedom in Southeast Asia and the West. Essays should identify examples of positive progress and also examples of erosion of religious and other freedoms both in Southeast Asia and the West, and the practical lessons that might be learned.


Essay Contest for Professionals:

Winner: USD 2,500

Runner-up: USD 1,500


Essay Contest for Students:

Winner: USD 1,000

Runner-up: USD 500


Judging Criteria

Essays will be evaluated by a panel of five experts chosen by the Institute for Global Engagement, in consultation with ‘Institut Leimena’. Submitted essays will be judged on both content and style. In order to be competitive an essay must focus directly on the essay contest topic, and be clear, engaging, logically organized, and cogently argued.


Panel of Judges

Dennis R. Hoover is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE). He is also Editor of IGE’s quarterly journal, The Review of Faith & International Affairs (, published by Routledge. He holds M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in political science from the University of Oxford. He is editor of Religion and American Exceptionalism (Routledge 2014), co-editor with Chris Seiple and Pauletta Otis of The Handbook of Religion and Security (Routledge 2013), co-editor with Douglas Johnston of Religion and Foreign Affairs: Essential Readings (Baylor University Press 2012), and co-editor with Robert A. Seiple of Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations (Rowman & Littlefield 2004). He has also authored numerous book chapters, articles in peer-reviewed journals, and magazine articles and op-eds.

Eugene Tan is Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Scholars’ Development, Singapore Management University. He holds a JSM from Stanford University and a MSc in comparative politics from the London School of Economics. He has also served as a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore’s legislature. His areas of research include constitutional and administrative law, corruption and public ethics, nationalism and ethnicity, the ASEAN Charter, religion and politics, and immigration. He is the author of many publications, including “Faith, Freedom, and U.S. Foreign Policy: Avoiding the Proverbial Clash of Civilizations in Southeast Asia,” The Review of Faith & International Affairs 11(1): 76-78.

Jakob Tobing is the President of the Institut Leimena. He is a prominent architect of Indonesia’s democracy who played a leading role in ending the three-decade authoritarian regime in 1998. He chaired the first National Election Committee in 1999, and then between 1999 and 2004 led the landmark Constitutional Amendments that laid the foundation for the new democracy and rule of law, with a strong emphasis on human rights protection. Now many countries consider Indonesia’s Constitution as a model. For his exceptional service, Indonesia’s President presented to him the highest civilian award, Mahaputra Medal. After more than three decades as member of parliament, he was appointed as the Ambassador to the Republic of Korea in 2004. His outstanding diplomatic contribution earned him the Gwanghwa medal—the highest diplomatic award from the Republic of Korea. He holds M.P.A. degree from Harvard University.

Paul Marshall is a Senior Fellow at the Institut Leimena and the Center for Religious Freedom at Hudson Institute. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University and Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Jakarta State Islamic University. He has spoken on religious freedom and international relations before hearings by the US Senate and House of Representative, US State Department, and Helsinki Commission.  He is the author and editor of more than twenty books on religion and politics, especially religious freedom, including Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (2013, with Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea), Silenced How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide (2011, with Nina Shea) and Religious Freedom in the World (2007). He has published or been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, and many other newspapers and magazines.

Robert Joustra is an Assistant Professor of International Studies at Redeemer University College (greater-Toronto-area, Canada). He is also an editorial fellow with The Review of Faith & International Affairs, and a fellow with the Center for Public Justice. He holds a Ph.D. in international politics at the University of Bath Before joining Redeemer, Joustra taught English in Kobe (Japan), and worked for nearly a decade for the think tank Cardus on issues ranging from urban planning, to education diversity, to religious freedom. During that time he edited the policy journal of Cardus and its worldview journal, Comment magazine. He is editor, with Jonathan Chaplin, of God and Global Order: The Power of Religion in American Foreign Policy (Baylor University Press, 2010), and is working on two books: the first on religious freedom in Canadian foreign policy, the second on Charles Taylor and the apocalyptic imagination in pop culture.


Contest Rules

Student Essay Contest:

  •         Essays submitted to the Student Contest must be between 3,000 and 5,000 words in length (inclusive of references)
  •         A student entrant must be a 12th Grader, College Undergraduate, or Graduate Student.


Professional Essay Contest:

  •         A professional entrant can be employed in any field, and must not be enrolled in any degree program on more than a quarter-time basis.
  •     Essays submitted to the Professional Contest must be between 5,000 and 7,000 words in length (inclusive of references).


General Rules:
  •         The contest is open to any writer who is a citizen of ASEAN countries; entrants need not be currently resident in ASEAN countries.
  •         Employees of the Institute for Global Engagement, its board of directors, and their immediate family members are not eligible. Employees of the Leimena Institute, its board of directors, and their immediate family members are not eligible.
  •         Essays must be received via email no later than 11:59 PM (GMT +7) on May 1, 2016.
  •         Essays are only accepted electronically as email attachments in Microsoft Word or PDF file format. Please send to
  •         Essay submissions must be accompanied by an up-to-date CV, including current mailing address, email address, and phone number.
  •         Contest administrators will endeavor to notify all entrants of contest results by August 1, 2016.
  •         Only one essay per entrant may be submitted.
  •         Essays must be original works, not previously published, in whole or in part.
  •         Any degree or form of plagiarism will result in disqualification.
  •         Essays should use citations sparingly. Essays must use the “Harvard” (author date) style for citations, and must include a Bibliography of Works Cited at the end.
  •         Essays must not infringe on any third-party rights or intellectual property. Entrants agree to indemnify the Institute for Global Engagement for any claim, demand, judgment or other allegation arising from possible violation of someone’s trademark, copyright or other legally protected interest in any way in the entrant’s essay.
  •         The decisions of the judges are final.
  •         Prize winners agree to allow the Institute for Global Engagement to publish, at its sole discretion, their essays online and in The Review of Faith & International Affairs (, and to either assign copyright or grant exclusive license to the Institute for Global Engagement.
  •         First-place winners will also be invited to present their papers at an international conference in December 2016 on religion and law in Southeast Asia. The conference will be held in Singapore; all travel expenses will be covered.
  •         Winners will be solely responsible for any taxes and currency conversion fees.


Questions and Inquiries:

Please forward all your questions and inquiries to

Responsible Citizenship

in Religious Society

Ikuti update Institut Leimena