Introduction / History Centuries ago the Central Thai people 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 Thailand.
The Central Thai are unusually polite, respectful, and hospitable people. Age is highly respected in Central Thai society. Type of occupation, wealth, and place and type of residence follow age in terms of respect and rank.
Where are they located? Most Central Thai people in Finland live in urban centers and near university campuses.
What are their lives like? Many of the Central Thai people are college students. Once there, they seldom have much social contact with the Finish majority.
What are their beliefs? Theravada Buddhism was introduced in Thailand in 329 B.C. Almost all of the Thai are devout followers of Gautama Buddha and seek to eliminate suffering and improve their future by gaining merit in pursuit of perfect peace, or nirvana. They believe that merit can be acquired through feeding monks, donating to temples, and attending worship services.
What are their needs? Believers can reach out to students from Thailand by opening their homes to them and giving them a "home away from home." In this informal, relaxed atmosphere, they can share the deeds of Jesus Christ with Thai Buddhists.
Prayer Points * Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask God to send believers to work among the Central Thai people in Finland.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Central Thai towards believers so that they will be receptive to the gospel.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Central Thai people in Europe that will spread far and wide.
* Pray that God will mobilize the Church in Finland to reach out to Thai college students at Finland's universities.