Enjoy its beauty
Thailand stretches on the map throughout Southeast Asia like an elephant with its long trunk reaching to Malaysia. In the north, Thailand’s jungle mountains are filled with various intriguing animals, birds, and unique tribes, each with its own language, culture, and beautiful traditional garb. In the south limestone cliffs rise above emerald oceans and people flock to enjoy perfect beaches. In the central plains, vast flat lands, a widespread irrigation system, and hard work make Thailand the world’s largest exporter of rice. The northeast, known as Isarn, adds its unique touch to Thailand’s variety with its sticky rice, music, and fun-loving people.
Thai restaurants have sprung up all around the world testifying to the incredibly delicious combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors, along with an amazing abundance of tropical fruit.
Thailand is known as the land of the free, having never been colonized, unlike its neighbors. With a wise and compassionate king ruling for over 60 years, it has had a growing economy and has been a place of safety for millions of refugees from the neighboring countries.
It is also known as the land of smiles. The people love harmony and maneuver expertly to keep the peace. In the villages you will meet more elderly people than in other countries nearby with 15% of the country over the age of 60. The respect given to those with many years is very special.
Care for its hurts
Thailand also has its heartaches. Heart disease and stroke are killing 1 out of 4 people in Thailand. Lack of exercise, increased stress, and a diet heavy with meat, oil, and sugar is taking its toll. 46% of the men smoke and alcohol use is endemic.
The country is also known for its huge numbers of prostitutes. This is a local problem, that is also fed by international tourism in a horrific way. Thailand has had the greatest AIDS problem in Southeast Asia, with around 700,000 infected, though the government has worked hard to reverse it through education. The saddest part is that many of the prostitutes are actually slaves, taken from the hill tribes and neighboring countries. 40,000 are estimated to be children. Beyond this 1 million children are estimated to be child laborers.
Despite years of peace, there has been a strong undercurrent of unrest with the country deeply divided along political lines called “red” and “yellow.” The southern states continue to have significant clashes between Muslims and Buddhists.
Share the good news
Out of more than 67 million people in Thailand, 84% are Buddhists, another 8% are Muslims, and 3% are animists. There are only about 1% that are Christian even after many years of mission work. Thailand is still significantly unreached with the gospel. For most people there, to be Thai is to be Buddhists and they have not really considered being anything else. There are about 15,000 Seventh-day Adventists.
Around 50% of the people live in the cities with around 10 million living in the greater city of Bangkok, (with a much longer name in Thai). Effective forms of ministry are needed to capture the attention of these busy people.
Though the majority of Thailand speaks Thai, there are 114 culturally and linguistically diverse people groups of which 83 are considered unreached. Very little gospel work has been done among the Muslims groups that primarily live in the south. Explore these groups at Joshua Project.
Some estimate that there are 300,000 Buddhist monks in over 30,000 temples. 58 million Buddhists are waiting for someone to introduce them to the compassionate Master Jesus who found a way to receive everyone’s past deeds on Himself and set them free from the power of selfishness.
Pray for Thailand
- Please pray for the many needs you have read about above. Ask God to convict the Thai population of their sins and their need of a Savior. Pray for a revival among Christians in Thailand. We need effective men, women, and children of faith and action like Paul, Esther, and the little maid.
- Pray for ASAP Ministries’ national church planters and medical missionaries to be effective along with others seeking to share the gospel in this country.
- Print prayer cards for the unreached in Thailand to use in your prayer time, family worships, or small groups.