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Thai, Isan in Norway

Thai, Isan

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
18,000 Thai, Northeastern Buddhism 0.80 % 0.10 % No   

Thai, Isan in Norway

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Introduction / History
The Northeastern Tai, also known as the Lao Isan, are dispersed throughout 17 provinces in northeastern Thailand. This area takes up nearly one third of Thailand's total land mass. It is basically a flat arid plain known as the Khorat Plateau with infrequent rainfall and few natural resources. The region is noted for its archeological relics and monuments dating back to Khmer influence under the Angkor wat regime.

Many of the present-day residents of the Khorat Plateau were forcibly relocated to this hostile region over a period of 100 years from the Lan Chang Kingdom in what is now Laos. Later the people, the region and their language was labeled by Siamese kings as Isan, meaning "northeast." Even though this region is now fully incorporated into Thailand and all residents are Thai, the Lao Isan language, unique diet, ritual and culture continues to thrive among this people group.

Where are they located?
Most of the Thai people in Norway are from Isan, which is primarily a farming region. Ironically, growing up in a rural part of Thailand is good preparation for some of the Northeastern Thai Isan people who migrate to Norway.

What are their lives like?
The Northeastern Thai Isan people who migrate to Norway are often women who go there to marry Norwegian men. These men often live in rural areas where Norwegian women don't want to live. That is one of the reasons why these men look for wives in other parts of the world.

These marriages are sometimes happy, but only if each party understands the needs of the other. If a man is trying to "marry for love," he will be disappointed, because his wife is marrying to get economic security for herself and family members in Thailand. Norwegian law allows their citizens to have their foreign spouses deported if the marriage ends within three years, so some men use this to manipulate their Asian wives. Divorced Northeastern Thai Isan women can wind up deported, or working in massage parlors and brothels because of their lack of modern work skills.

What are their beliefs?
More than half of the Northeastern Tai are Theravada Buddhist. They follow the teachings of Gautama Buddha and seek to eliminate suffering and improve their future by gaining merit in their present lives. Ultimately, they are in pursuit of nirvana, or perfect peace. They believe that merit can be acquired through feeding monks, donating to temples, and frequently worshiping in the temples.

Northeastern Thai Isan people continue to practice their traditional ethnic religions particularly for important rites of passage. They combine Buddhist teachings with folk religious practices, seeking help through the worship of spirits and venerated objects.

What are their needs?
The Northeastern Thai Isan people in Norway need to understand their worth in God's terms, not man's terms. They rely on a religious system that blends animism and Buddhism where they and the spirit beings are simply using one another. God has a far better way to live.

They also need job skills that will be useful in Norway's modern economy.

Prayer Points
* Pray for Northeastern Thai Isan people in Norway to put their worth in God, not in the world system.
* Pray for a movement to Christ among the Northeastern Thai Isan people, both in Europe and in Thailand.
* Pray that God will call forth teams of long term missionaries and intercessors who will commit to seeing Thai Isan people in Europe begin their own disciple making movement.


View Thai, Isan in all countries.

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Country: Norway
Continent: Europe
Region: Europe, Western
10/40 Window: No
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Thai, Isan
People Name General: Thai, Isan
Alternate People Names:
IssanKhon Tai
Lao IsanNortheastern Tai
Northeastern ThaiSiamese
Tai IsanThai-Khorat
ROP3 Code: 109994
Joshua Project People ID: 15460
Indigenous: No
Population in Country: 18,000
Population all Countries: 18,379,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Thai
People Name General: Thai, Isan
Ethnic Code: MSY49b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Thai, Northeastern (18,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tts    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism95.00 % 
Christianity0.80 %(Evangelical: 0.10 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious4.20 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant60.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic40.00 %
(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: 1985–1996
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
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 RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Thai, Northeastern
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Thai, Isan in Norway

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Thai     Europe, Western    
      Thai, Isan Norway    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Thai, Isan in Norway          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Thai, Northeastern  
    All Religions                              

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