Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

1 - Developmental Mission: The Transregionalization of Korean Protestantism in Asia

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Casuarina, Lower Ground Floor

Twenty-first century Asia has seen the increasing worldwide challenge to the paradigm of secular modernization on which the contemporary global order of competing nation-states is based. Transnational religious organizations, especially faith-based NGOs, are more and more recognized as valuable partners for international or sustainable development projects beyond the political borders. Are these propositions also applicable to the case of transregionalization of Korean Protestant Christianity? This paper examines overseas mission and international development activities of Korean Protestantism in Asia. Since the 1990s, Korean Protestant churches have actively carried out missionary work at a global level; about forty percent of their propagation activities are done in Asia. The missionary work of Korean Protestantism is generally known to be based on a strong conversionist evangelism. At the same time, its faith-based NGOs have participated in various international development projects. This paper is focused on the role and its characteristics of Korean Protestantism’s missionary work and related international development activities in the underdeveloped area of Asia, the so-called 10/40 Window region outside of East Asia in particular. In doing so, the author attempts to figure out how Korean Protestant institutions as non-governmental partners have contributed to relief and development projects in underdeveloped Asian societies.

Kyuhoon Cho

Seoul National University, Republic of Korea

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