The "ASEAN Integration": Challenges to Ecclesial and Theological Praxis
Emmanuel S. De Guzman
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Since December of 2015, restrictions have been lifted to allow the free flow of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labor among the ten member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and the Philippines. This inter-governmental project seeks to actualize the vision of ASEAN as “one single market, one single production base and one economic community.” The goal is to transform the relationships of the ten member-nations into an “ASEAN Economic Community”through a process that has been dubbed as “ASEAN Integration.” This paper sketches the ASEAN Integration and delineates the challenges it poses to the local Churches in Southeast Asia and particularly to theologies that can foster interculturality among the peoples in the region.There may come a point when people across Southeast Asia will wake up one morning at the end of 2015 to find themselves part of one giant country with ten “provinces.”

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