Thai in United States


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Most of the Thai who arrived in the US did so in the 1970s and 1980s. This was the same time many peoples were coming from other parts of Southeast Asian. Thai people live in over 30 nations of the world. Most come to the USA seeking better economic opportunities and a better life for their children.

The Central Thai people who live in the US are mainly in California, especially Greater Los Angeles. However, there are also many Thais who reside in New York City and Houston.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Thai cuisine is noted throughout the world for spicy curries. Some Thais who come to the West open restaurants. Others own and run jewelry stores, beauty parlors and markets. One cannot say that the Thai have a specific kind of work in the United States. Some work in medicine, trade and retail while many work in factories, especially the ones who have arrived more recently. Many Thai young people come temporarily to study at universities and decide to stay.

Thai families in the USA must find a balance between maintaining their traditional Buddhist culture and fitting into a modern, secular society like the USA. Many young people prefer to speak English and no longer go to Buddhist temples with their parents and grandparents. Many young Thais marry outside the Thai community. The children of these marriages often do not identify with being Thai.


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What Are Their Beliefs?

Though the Thai are flexible enough to marry outside their culture, they identify as being Buddhist. It is very difficult to get a Thai person to get beyond the belief that "to be Thai is to be Buddhist," no matter where they live. Buddhists frequently have a difficult time understanding the concepts of individual sin and a righteous, personal God.

The large majority of Thai people practice Buddhism, the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, who lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation. Theravada, one of the two major branches of Buddhism, declares that by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right intentions and right actions that a Buddhist can achieve nirvana or a state of freedom and salvation.

To most Buddhists, however, these things have far less meaning than their traditional beliefs, which are usually animistic. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals. Buddhism allows people to mix Buddhist teachings with traditional religion.

Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday in December or January which commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.

In all the Thai communities across the world, only a tiny fraction claims to be followers of Jesus Christ. Many Christian resources are available in the Thai language including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film.


What Are Their Needs?

Newly arrived Thai people need help in finding a place to live, improving their English and finding a job. Their children need to be enrolled in school. American Christians can help Thais in these activities. Most of all, the Thai people must hear and respond to the claims of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and give them eternal life.


Prayer Points

Pray for the few Thai believers to be bold, and loving in their witness to their Buddhist family members and friends.

Pray for American churches to reach out and share the gospel with American Thai people.

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Thai in the United States that will result in many new believers starting culturally-sensitive fellowships in Thailand.

Pray that Thai would have a desire to read and study the Bible.


Scripture Prayers for the Thai in United States.


References

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2016/05/16

http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2020/07/19


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-05-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-07-19
People Name General Thai
People Name in Country Thai
Pronunciation tye
Population this Country 229,000
Population all Countries 24,196,000
Total Countries 29
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 5
Alternate Names Bangkok Thai; Central Tai; Khon Tai; Lao Song; Siamese; Siamese Thai; Tai Noi; Thai Khom; Thai Klang; Thai Song
People ID 11277
ROP3 Code 101940
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Riverside, Houston   Source:  Global Gates 2021
Country United States
Region America, North and Caribbean
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Riverside, Houston.   Source:  Global Gates 2021

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Primary Language Thai (229,000 speakers)
Language Code tha   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Thai (229,000 speakers)
Language Code tha   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Thai

Primary Language:  Thai

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1834-1967)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1843-1977)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1883-2020)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Come to Me
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Thai
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
96.50 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.20 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
1.00 %
Islam
1.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
1.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
0.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
40.0 %
Roman Catholic
60.0 %
Photo Source Deepak Meena - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more