Dynamiken von Religion und Politik in Südostasien



In November 2007 China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on a timeline to create the largest free trade zone of the world within the following ten years. Since then, the ten ASEAN states and China are expanding their cooperation in the areas of agriculture, information technology, human resources, investment, and development of the Mekong Basin. This program marks the beginning of a new phase of Southeast and East Asian policy. A process of far-reaching change is to be expected, not only in the economy of the region, but also in the fields of religions and local cultures. From a global perspective, Southeast Asia will receive a new profile.
The history of globalization shows that impending drastic change raises both hopes and concerns. These concerns are often expressed in religious semantics, or acted out in religiously motivated violence. In contrast to the historical development of European modernity, on the global stage not a diminishment in the importance of religion can be discerned but instead an intensification. Religions are being politicized in Southeast Asia, as can be seen in regard to Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as to Christianity (Vietnam, East Timor, Philippines) and Buddhism (Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia).