Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Christian Expansion in Borneo and its influence on Chinese immigration (1850s ~ 1950s)

Friday, July 6
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Rudraksha, Lower Ground Floor

Numerous Christians live in Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Two-thirds of the 2.617 million Malaysia Christians live in Sabah and Sarawak where they are together 30% of the population. Most of them are Chinese whose ancestors came from China hundreds of years ago. This research intends to reveal the spread of Christianity in Borneo and its influence on Chinese immigration both of which had started from the middle of 19th century. Traditional Chinese society was a patrilineal society that emphasized on kinship and lineage. Taoism, Buddhism and folk religion were the dominant belief systems. However, some of the Chinese emigrants in Southeast China had transferred to Christianity before they arrived in Borneo wavelike. At the same time, there were missionary movements from Europe to this island. The study assumes that Christian expansion and Chinese immigration were enforcing and promoting each other on the one hand. On the other hand, conflicts among different religious beliefs and customs would have resulted in disassociation. The paper will examine what kind of role Chinese missionary played in the interaction of ethnic groups in Borneo as well.

Min Kang

Beijing Foreign Studies University, China

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1 - Christian Expansion in Borneo and its influence on Chinese immigration (1850s ~ 1950s)



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