People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Thai, Isan in United States

Thai, Isan

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Send us a map of this people group in this country.
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
84,000 Thai, Northeastern Buddhism 2.00 % 0.10 % No   

Thai, Isan in United States

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
he Northeastern Thai, 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, rituals and culture continues to thrive among this people group.

Where are they located?
In the US, ethnic groups from Thailand tend to stick together. There is a large Thai community in Greater Los Angeles, and the Northeastern Thai are among them.

What are their lives like?
The Northeastern Thai Issan people work hard at restaurants and as students. They are not as prosperous as some Asian immigrants to the US, but they are much more prosperous than they were in Thailand. Their social interactions are mainly with Thai people, not Western Americans.

What are their beliefs?
The Northeastern Thai Issan 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. They also practice traditional ethnic religions, but this is less likely for those who live in the West.

What are their needs?
The Northeastern Thai Issan people need to have the opportunity to give Jesus a chance to change their lives. Unless someone clearly shows them the difference, they will continue to believe that Buddhism is for them and Christianity is for Westerners.

Prayer Points
* Pray for Northeastern Thai Isan people in the US 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 North America 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 the US begin their own disciple making movement.


View Thai, Isan in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Region: America, North and Caribbean
10/40 Window: No
Submit Map:
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
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: 84,000
Population all Countries: 18,333,000
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
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Thai, Northeastern (84,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tts    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism98.00 % 
Christianity2.00 %(Evangelical: 0.10 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
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
Submit Update:
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
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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 United States

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Thai     America, North and Caribbean    
      Thai, Isan United States    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Thai, Isan in United States          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Thai, Northeastern  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: