Introduction / History The Central Tai, or Siamese, live on the country's rich central plain. The Central Thai, who represent more than a third of Thailand's population, call themselves the Khon Thai, meaning "the free people". Freedom has always been highly valued by the Thai peoples.
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 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 Tai society and even maintains social control. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of the country.
Where are they located? Most Central Thai people live in Thailand, but there is a diaspora in other parts of the world, including Italy.
What are their lives like? The Thai people in Italy tend to be well educated. They are unusually polite, respectful, and hospitable. Their children are brought up to respect those of a higher rank. Age is highly respected by the Central Tai people. Type of occupation, wealth, and place and type of residence follow age in terms of respect and rank.
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. Buddhism is a key part of their identity as a people.
What are their needs? Though the Central Thai people in Italy are fairly prosperous, they have great spiritual needs. The Central Thai people do not understand that Jesus Christ is far higher than any other, and that He offers them far more than they can imagine.
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 Italy.
* 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.