Introduction / History Centuries ago the Central Thai people 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. Buddhism is the central and unifying force in Thai society and even maintains social control.
The Central Thai are unusually polite, respectful, and hospitable people. Age is highly respected in Central Thai society. Type of occupation, wealth, and place and type of residence follow age in terms of respect and rank.
Where are they located? Most Thai people live in urban centers like Berlin.
What are their lives like? There are a good many Thai women who have married German men. Many of the Thai are college students. Others work in the food industry; Thai food is popular in Germany.
What are their beliefs? Thai people, even those in Germany, support the Buddhist religion without question. To be Thai is to be Buddhist, even for those who live outside the country.
"Mai ben rai" is often heard on the lips of Central Thai Buddhists. Roughly translated it means "That's not an issue." The phrase expresses a deeply held Thai belief that things are not worth getting agitated over because that would cause one to leave the "middle path" of calmness as taught in Buddhism. "Mai ben rai" is used every day to excuse a friend's tardiness, cover up a hurt feeling, or to display a lack of interest in discovering spiritual truth.
What are their needs? The Central Thai people, be they in Thailand or Europe, need a spiritual hunger that will motivate them to find answers in Jesus Christ. They can find these answers more easily in a non-Buddhist land like Germany.
Prayer Points * Pray God would awaken the hearts of Central Thai Buddhists to embrace the unshakeable Kingdom of God.
* Ask for a significant turning of entire Thai families in Germany to Jesus.
* Pray that strong churches will grow in every location where Central Thai people live.
* Pray for a disciple-making movement to flourish among Thai people in Germany.