Thailand means “land of the free” and Thais take great pride in being one of the only Asian nations never to have been imperialized. Formerly known as Siam, its ruling family has held power for more than a thousand years.
Thailand is also known as the “land of smiles” due to the easy-going and hospitable nature of its people and its sophisticated culture. However, it is a place of little true joy.
With over 250,000 Buddhist monks serving in over 30,000 temples across Thailand, Buddhism is not only the largest faith, but is is part of the Thai national identity and permeates into every level of society and culture. Because fo this, it is estimated that only one hundred Thais accept each year in a country of over 64 million people. The church remains small with less than two percent of the population being evangelical Christians.
These cultural factors and abundant resources and drawn global investors, and Thailand boasts a booming economy. In addition, its natural beauty, friendly people, and Buddhist architecture promote a healthy tourist industry.
Unfortunately many are drawn to an equally lucrative sex industry and tourism. Two million children are currently involved in prostitution to pay off family debts since the average Thai earns less than 3,000 dollars a year. This scourge has led to an increaser in HIV/AIDS so much so that it is the leading cause of death in Thailand today.
The Bible is available in the Thai language and many Thai radio stations daily air Christian programs. With the growing distribution of christian literature and a highly literate population, Thailand is a nation with the potential to see the gospel spread quickly.
If workers will go and God’s people will pray, God’s power and the truth of the gospel will transform Thailand into a nation that is truly free and full of smiles.