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Constructive dialogues on religion and democracy in Kyrgyzstan

This project supported open public discourse and communication about religion and democracy in Kyrgyzstan.

This included the freedom of religion and belief, the role of religion in people’s lives, the interrelation between state and religious institutions, and state policies on religion.

We have established a platform on religious–secular dialogue, comprising of religious leaders, scholars, civil society members, journalists and government officials, to discuss key issues on religion and democracy in the country and to identify knowledge gaps.

During the project we trained 1,500 clergymen to strengthen interfaith harmony and religious tolerance, preventing domestic violence and gender issues, and civic participation in a secular, democratic society. 16 youth peer mentors were trained in facilitating conflict-sensitive topics, and young mentor leaders are more actively involved in civic life in their communities beyond the project. 90 discussion clubs were held among youth throughout the country with the participation of about 3,000 participants. Memorandums of cooperation were signed by six universities and three youth centers throughout the country to ensure the sustainability of discussion clubs.

We improved the ability of youth peer mentors and other young people to articulate arguments and conduct discussions on religion and democracy by training youth peer mentors on leadership and dialogue facilitation, which they used to organise discussion groups in their provinces. We also supported research to help the experts and young people better contribute to policies and counter narratives that fuel suspicion, mistrust and conflict.

This project ran from February 2017 to January 2020.