Introduction / History 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. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of Thailand.
In the 1970s, when many Southeast Asian countries were enduring with Communist revolutions and war, Thailand remained stable. For this reason, there are fewer Thai than Vietnamese or Cambodians who left Southeast Asia for the West. The Thai who have moved to countries like Spain usually have done so for education or business.
Where are they located? Most Central Thai people live in Thailand, or other Southeast Asian countries. Thai restaurants are popular throughout Western nations like Spain. Barcelona is one of the key places where Thai people live in Spain.
What are their lives like? Some work in the restaurant industry, serving the popular, spicy Thai food in Spain's urban centers.
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. Today, Buddhism is the central and unifying force in Thai society and even maintains social control. Though Buddhism is a unifying cultural force for the Thai people in Spain, there are some Christians among this population.
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 Europe. 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 Spain.