Cross-cultural Communication in Southeast Asia A Biblical and Psychological Perspective

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Ebenezer A. Belete


We are living in a time when communication across different cultures has become an inevitable element for a successful global movement. If we have to be part of the fulfillment of the prophecy about the Gospel to be preached all over the world (Matt 24:14; 28:19), a thorough understanding of cross-cultural communication becomes indispensable. As culture is dynamic, so is cross-cultural communication. Thus, it is important to consider the Biblical, psychological and research-based facts in designing an outreach that targets a certain cultural group. This article focuses on elements that are important to consider in forming an effective cross-cultural communication in a number of Southeast Asian countries where Buddhism plays an important role in the culture. It reviews cross-cultural encounters recorded in the Bible and explores their significance in this age. In addition, it suggests practical approaches based on psychological spectrums such as collectivism verses individualism, cognitive versus affective persuasion and medium of persuasion. It is vital to revise one’s strategy according to the light and understanding we come across as this world changes every moment.


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