Introduction / History The Central Tai, or Siamese, live on the country's rich central plain. The area, which includes the capital city of Bangkok, is watered by the Chao Phraya River. The Central Tai, who represent more than a third of the population, call themselves the Khon Thai, meaning "the free people."
Centuries ago the Thai lived north of Yangtzekiang in China. Relentless pressure by the Chinese gradually forced them southward. They conquered many peoples and cultures as they sought a new homeland, and by the 10th century they had settled in what is now central Thailand. A bloodless revolution in 1932, led by westernized intellectuals, instituted a democratic constitutional monarchy. However, the country has suffered numerous governmental upheavals since then. Today, Buddhism is the central and unifying force in Thai society and even maintains social control. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of the country. However, most of the Thai people in Denmark are from a region called Isan that has its own language that is closer to Lao than Thai.
Where are they located? Most of the Thai in Denmark are from Isan, a region in northeastern Thailand that borders Laos and Cambodia. In Denmark, most live in Copenhagen, though some live in other cities and towns.
What are their lives like? Most of the Thai people in Denmark are women who are working to support family members in Thailand. They can make far more money working in brothels than they can elsewhere, so many voluntarily become prostitutes. Others are cleaning women. Back in Thailand such women are considered heroes for providing for their families. Some are married to Danish men.
What are their beliefs? Theravada Buddhism was introduced in Thailand in 329 B.C. Almost all of the Thai are followers of Buddha ("the enlightened one") and seek to eliminate suffering and improve their future by gaining merit in pursuit of perfect peace, or nirvana. They commonly believe that to be Thai is to be a Buddhist; there is no other way for them. They blur the distinctions between various religious leaders. The women who come to Denmark are there to earn money, and few have time or energy to devote to spiritual matters.
What are their needs? The Thai do not suffer from the baggage of coming from a war-torn land like many other people groups in Denmark. However, they suffer spiritually from not having a loving God who would do anything to help them to flourish.
Prayer Points * Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray that God will grant wisdom and favor to the mission agencies that are currently ministering to the Thai people in Europe.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong indigenous churches and a disciple making movement among the Thai people in Denmark.
* Pray for believers to provide a place of refuge for Thai women who devote their time making money in degrading settings.