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

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

There Will Be No Sea

Thank you, dear reader, for all that you do to help hasten the day when we will be able to say, “And there is no more sea!”

By: Brian Wilson
April 01 2020, 10:07 am | Comments 0

Peace

Duang and I desire to take the story of Jesus and the peace, purpose, hope and joy we find in Him to the people of southern Thailand.

By: Brian Wilson
February 25 2020, 2:21 pm | Comments 0

Unlimited God

Are you facing challenges or going through trials? Keep looking up to God in faith while claiming His “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 4:1 KJV).

By: Brian Wilson
February 01 2020, 2:04 pm | Comments 0

The Only Hope

Your prayers and support open doors for us and other missionaries in Thailand to lift up Jesus, the only hope for salvation.

By: Brian Wilson
December 01 2019, 11:03 am | Comments 0

God’s Guiding

Please pray that God will guide us to the house He wants us to live in and that He will prepare the hearts of the people to hear the gospel.

By: Brian Wilson
November 01 2019, 1:42 pm | Comments 0

Introducing Brian and Duang Wilson

We have decided on a city with no known Adventists and no planned mission outreach—Surat Thani. Your earnest prayers, support and pledges will speed us there and will establish the light of the gospel in this dark city.

By: Brian & Duang Wilson
September 01 2019, 1:22 pm | Comments 0

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