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Thai in Laos


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
143,000 Thai Buddhism 0.60 % 0.30 %   

Thai in Laos

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Introduction / History
Although most experts in Laos do not believe there to be any Central Thai speakers in the country except for obvious cases such as embassy workers and businessmen, in fact there are a small number of Central Thais, "living along the Mekong in parts of Laos".

The Thais in Laos referred to here are not the same language group as the Lao Isan or Tai Yuan in Laos. They have come across the Mekong River to trade in Laos and to own cheap land. The Thai can be found in the Phontong District of Chasmpasak Province, in Savannakhet City of Savannakhet Province, and in Vientiane City, the capital of Laos.

In 1995, at the time of national census, there were 2,343 Thai citizens in Laos. This figure includes tourists and businessmen who were in Laos.

Many Thai in Laos earn their living from the bounty of the Mekong River. In parts of the river, the Paa Beuk (giant catfish) is caught every year between mid-April and May when the river is at its lowest. The giant catfish is believed to be the largest fresh-water fish in the world, measuring up to three meters (10 feet) in length and weighing up to 300 kg (660 pounds). A single fish can fetch up to US$ 4500 when sold to restaurants in Bangkok. In recent years the number of catfish caught has decreased to between 40-60 per season, suggesting that they will soon be unavailable.

The identity of the Thai people is wrapped up in their adherence to Buddhism. It is a common saying that "To be Thai is to be Buddhist". This cultural-religious tie has prevented many Thais from becoming Christians and has given Thailand a reputation for being a graveyard for missions.

When Thai monks enter the monk hood they must agree to follow the Ten Precepts of Buddhism. These are: "I take the vow not to destroy life; I take the vow not to steal; I take the vow to abstain from impurity; I take the vow not to lie; I take the vow to abstain form intoxicating drinks, which hinder progress and virtue; I take the vow to abstain from dancing and singing, music and stage plays; I take the vow not to use garlands, scents, unguents, or ornaments; I take the vow not to use a high or broad bed; I take the vow not to receive gold or silver".

Prayer Points
* Pray God will have mercy on the Thai, doing whatever it takes to place them in a position to receive Him.
* Ask God to send Thai believers from Thailand to reach the Thai in Laos.
* Pray that God's Kingdom would come to people living along the entire length of the mighty Mekong River.

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Country: Laos
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:20 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Champasak and Savannakhet provinces, Vientiane City. Phontong district.
(Source: Faces of the Unreached in Laos, 1999)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Thai
People Name General: Thai
Alternate People Names:
Bangkok ThaiCentral Tai
Khon TaiLao Song
SiameseSiamese Thai
Tai NoiThai Khom
Thai KlangThai Song
ROP3 Code: 101940
Joshua Project People ID: 11277
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 143,000
Population all Countries: 21,437,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Thai
People Name General: Thai
Ethnic Code: MSY49d
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Thai (143,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tha    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism95.40 % 
Christianity0.60 %(Evangelical: 0.30 %)
Ethnic Religions3.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious1.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent11.00 %
Protestant44.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic45.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1834-1967
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1883-2020
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoCome to Me
Film / VideoCreation to Christ
Film / VideoFathers Love Letter
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Thai
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Prophets' Story
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible: Biblica Thai
Text / Printed MatterBible: Holy Bible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Thai Standard Version Revision
Text / Printed MatterBible: พระคัมภีร์ภ ...
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Thai in Laos

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Thai     Asia, Southeast    
      Thai Laos    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Thai in Laos          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Thai  
    All Religions                              

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