Archaeology of Christianity in Southeast Asia

European colonialism and missionaries brought Christianity to Southeast Asia

To cite this page: Tan, Noel Hidalgo (2021, Updated 09 October 2022) Archaeology of Christianity in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian Archaeology. Available at: https://www.southeastasianarchaeology.com/christianity/
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Overview
Overview
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Archaeological Projects in Southeast Asia
A list of past and present archaeological project websites
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Scholarly research and a list of Southeast Asian archaeology journals
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Field work equipment and digital tool recommendations, with many available for free.
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Overview

European colonialism and missionaries brought Christianity to Southeast Asia

Christianity, as it is practiced today, can be traced to the arrival of Europeans from the 16th century, starting with the Portuguese in Sri Lanka and Malacca. However, various records indicate the presence of Christian missionaries and communities in Asia since the 2nd century. Their presence was felt mainly in India and China, though a few early communities could be found in Southeast Asia – including a mention of a Christian community in Sumatra in the 12th century. Because of its association with European colonisation, archaeological traces of Christianity are much more recent, and often manifest in the form of religious buildings and colonial architecture (many of which are still in use). Today, Christianity is the main religion in the Philippines and East Timor, but the religion flourishes in all parts of the region. Some of the more significant sites associated with Christianity include the Unesco-listed Baroque Churches of the Philippines, and the architecture found in the historic cities of Melaka and George Town.

Recommended Books

These are books relevant to Christianity in Southeast Asia, with a focus on archaeology. Some of these links are affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click on them and make a purchase. For other sources of reliable academic information, you should also check out the books page for latest releases and the occassional free book, as well as the journals page for the latest scientific research.

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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News Archive

The news reports indexed below usually link to external sites that were active at the time of posting; sometimes websites may be temporarily down or may have reorganised their underlying architecture or have even closed down – in these cases the links may not be available. Most of the news articles archived are in English; this is largely because I do not have a working competency in Bahasa, although when I am made aware of stories in this and other languages I try to index them.

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