Buddhists of Southern Thailand

  • Pre-Entry
  • Pre-Evangelism
  • Evangelism
  • Discipleship
  • Phase-Out
  • Completed

The Country

A unified Thai kingdom was established in the 14th century and was known as Siam until 1939, when it became the constitutional monarchy of Thailand. This land of free enterprise achieved steady growth primarily due to industrial and agriculture exports until flooding crippled the manufacturing sector in 2011. Yet less than 1 percent of the labor force is unemployed, even with an influx of two and a half million migrant workers from neighboring countries. The tropical climate of Thailand is divided between the warm rainy season stretching from mid-May to September and the dry, cool weather arriving in November through mid-March. In the general area of our project, the capital city of Bangkok is a major regional force in finance and business, an international hub for transport and health care, and a regional center for the arts.

h4.About the People

Southern Thailand, located on the Malay Peninsula and with an area of around 27,000 square miles, is a little larger than West Virginia. The western part has steep coasts, while river plains dominate the east side. It is a growing region with a population of more than 9 million. With a more tropical climate, it is home to many of Thailand’s pristine beaches and resorts. This narrow landmass is also home to many fishing communities.

The primary language is Southern Thai. The culture mixes strong Indian influences, Chinese traditions, and elements that are uniquely Thai. With its diverse geography, friendly people, and stunning scenery, Thailand has earned the name “Land of Smiles.”

Roughly two-thirds of Thailand’s population is composed of Thai ethnic groups, and much of Thailand’s culture comes from the ethnic Thai people. The remaining one-third of the population consists primarily of Chinese and other minorities, including Vietnamese, Khmer, Hmong, and Mien. One of the most important influences on Thai culture has been Buddhism. Many of the traditions and beliefs of the people in Thailand stem directly from Buddhist principles. Hinduism has also made significant contributions to Thai culture, and one can see the close links between Thailand and India can be seen in art, literature and many Thai customs. The cultures of nearby Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and China have also significantly impacted the forming of traditions in Thailand, as have indigenous belief systems such as animism.

Religion also profoundly influences Thai culture. With around 90 percent of the country being Theraveda Buddhist, Buddhism’s belief system and values play a huge role in daily life. The remaining roughly 10 percent of the population is Muslim, with the majority of these living in Southern Thailand. The most important values to Thai people include respect, self-control, and a non-confrontational attitude. Losing face by showing anger is a source of great shame. No matter how frustrated or upset a person might feel, he or she will always strive to maintain a positive and friendly attitude, a sense of humor, and a smile.

Respect for elders and those in higher social positions is also important. Children are expected to respect their parents and teachers. The young must show deference to the elderly. Those with highly prestigious social positions, such as doctors, influential public figures, and monks, are highly revered.

h4.About the Project

Less than one percent of Thailand’s population is Christian. However, most of these live north of Bangkok. There has been less outreach to the Southern Thai people. Our project seeks to take the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ to the Buddhists in southern Thailand.

h4.People-Group Facts

Population: 9 million
Language: Thai
Religion: Buddhism, Islam

Frontier Stories

Pray for Open Doors

We serve the God who said to Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” and who said in the Psalms, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession” (Gen. 18:14; Ps. 2:8.). The answer to closed doors is prayer!

By: Brian Wilson
March 01 2021, 2:14 pm | Comments 0

Thank You, Lord

And thus a chapter is closing. After navigating necessary logistics, we will soon turn our eyes from this deathbed and set our sights back on Thailand while with the eye of faith continually looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

By: Brian Wilson
February 01 2021, 2:40 pm | Comments 0

Why Do I Believe?

Before we move to Thailand, I hope I have an opportunity to share with my co-workers what God and Jesus mean to me.

By: Brian Wilson
January 01 2021, 10:17 am | Comments 0

Growth in Grace

We look forward to Southern Thailand and the joys that will come as we lead people there to Christ and guide their growth in grace.

By: Brian Wilson
December 01 2020, 9:34 am | Comments 0

I Count

Through the grace of God, both you and we and many from southern Thailand will be counted in that innumerable throng.

By: Brian Wilson
October 01 2020, 10:13 am | Comments 0

Keep Your Love Batteries Charged

Our love batteries need daily recharging through reflection on God’s love for us and meditating on Christ’s goodness and the beauty of the gospel.

By: Brian Wilson
August 01 2020, 2:47 pm | Comments 0

Abundant Life

Duang and I want to introduce the people of southern Thailand to Jesus so that they can experience abundant life in Him.

By: Brian Wilson
July 01 2020, 9:40 am | Comments 0

What is Wisdom?

It is our prayer that through your wise investment you will share in the crown of rejoicing, seeing many experience the saving power of knowing Jesus.

By: Brian Wilson
June 01 2020, 8:19 am | Comments 0

I Know Who Holds my Hand

hat exactly will the world look like post-coronavirus? What will our mission in Thailand be like then? The words of the gospel song resonate in my heart: “I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.”

By: Brian Wilson
May 01 2020, 4:19 pm | Comments 0

I know Who Holds my Hand

Will my conference be cancelled?” “Will my 401(k) recover from the stock market crash?” “Will I come down with this new virus?” “Should I do X or Y in the face of so many unknowns?”

By: Brian Wilson
April 13 2020, 10:11 am | Comments 0

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