Religious Organizations and Democratization: Case Studies from Contemporary Asia

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Since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the political roles of religious institutions and groups have captured inernational attention. This book examines how religious institutions and organizations in various Asian countries are influencing democratic development and the shaping of government policies. Religious Organizations and Democratization covers Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. The chapters specifically address the engagement of Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, and other religious organizations in the advancement and/or hindrance of democratization in the region. The contributors consider such questions as: Why have some religious organizations played a decisive role in democratic transitions, while others remained politically dormant, and other still acted in conservative alliances to block democratic development? Why did some religious organizations that once were active and instrumental to democratic change lose their political vitality as soon as civil liberties were successfully introduced? And why did other religious organizations, irrespective of their roles in the process of democratic transition, emerge as key political forces in the civil society?