Religious Freedom Essay Contests

Essay Contest: Religious Freedom in Southeast Asia and the West

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DEADLINE EXTENDED to JULY 1, 2016.

Announcing: Essay contest on “Religious Freedom in Southeast Asia and the West,” jointly organized by the Institute for Global Engagement (USA) and the Institute Leimena (Indonesia), and sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Open only to citizens of Southeast Asian countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam). Winners will be selected in two categories: Professionals and Students. The first place winners will receive US$2,500 (Professionals) and US$1,000 (Students); the runner-up will receive US$1,500 (Professionals) and US$500 (Students).

TOPIC
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). The countries in Southeast Asia are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. 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. 

PRIZES

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
Submissions must comply with all Contest Rules. 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. Essays will be evaluated by a panel of five experts: Jakob Tobing (Institute Leimena), Eugene Tan (Singapore Management University), Paul Marshall (Institute Leimena and Hudson Institute), Robert Joustra (Redeemer University College), and Dennis Hoover (Institute for Global Engagement). 

DEADLINE:
* The deadline has been extended to July 1, 2016 *

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:

  • Essays submitted to the Professional Contest must be between 5,000 and 7,000 words in length (inclusive of references).
  • A professional entrant should be employed full-time (in any field) and not enrolled as a full-time student in any college degree program

General Rules:

  • The contest is strictly limited to entrants who are citizens of a Southeast Asian country (entrants need not be currently residing in their home country).
  • Employees of the Institute for Global Engagement, its board of directors, and their immediate family members are not eligible. Employees of Institut Leimena, 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 July 1, 2016.
  • Essays are only accepted electronically as email attachments in Microsoft Word or PDF file format. Please send to essaycontest@leimena.org. 
  • 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 September 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 on religion and law in Southeast Asia. The conference is tentatively set for December 2016 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 questions and inquiries to belicias@leimena.org.

Tags: RFIA

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Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest

Students can win up to $2,000 for college by writing an essay discussing whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays in the 2018 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest. To enter, students must write an 800-1,200 word essay responding to the following prompt:

In most public high schools, certain days are marked as religious holidays on the school calendar, and the schools are closed on those days.  As public schools become more diverse, some students’ religious holy day(s) are not days that the schools are closed, resulting in absences for those students.

In an essay, discuss whether public school calendars should accommodate religious holidays.

Consider how school administrators should determine if, or which, religious holy days are included in the school calendar, or if any school policies should be changed to better accommodate students’ religious exercise. Be sure your essay identifies how the First Amendment supports your position.

Click here to download and print the 2018 Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest entry forms

Students should develop a point of view, demonstrate critical thinking and use appropriate examples, arguments and other evidence to support their position. Any high school student graduating in 2018 or 2019 is eligible to enter the contest. There is no religious requirement. Entries must be mailed and postmarked by March 9, 2018.

The grand prize is a $2,000 scholarship and a trip for two to Washington, D.C. Prizes of $1,000 for the second place winner and $500 for the third place winner are also available. Winners will be announced by the end of summer 2018.

The annual Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest engages high school students in church-state issues by directing them to express a point of view on a religious liberty topic. Essays are judged on the depth of their content, the mastery of the topic, and the skill with which they are written. Students should develop a point of view on the issue and demonstrate critical thinking, using appropriate examples, reasons and other evidence to support their position. The annual contest is sponsored by the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee.

For questions on the 2018 essay contest, read these FAQs or contact Charles Watson Jr. at cwatson@BJConline.org or call 202-544-4226.

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