Sinhalese in Thailand


Population
71,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Ancestors of the Sinhalese people migrated from India (Bengal, Orissa, and Gujarat) to the island of Sri Lanka as early as the 6th century B.C. where they were known as Singhalese. The Singhalese King, court, and people converted to Indian Buddhism in the 2nd century B.C. The Sinhalese are now the dominant ethnic group in Sri Lanka.


Where Are they Located?

The majority of Sinhalese people live in Sri Lanka, but others have moved to other countries to earn a living. Among the Sinhalese diaspora are those who live in Thailand, though most go to other countries. Few return to Sri Lanka.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sinhalese people fit in well with the Buddhist culture of Thailand, but they must learn a language that has very little in common with their own.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Sinhalese belong to the Theravada branch of the Buddhist religion. Although the Sinhalese adhere to basic Buddhist teachings, they follow many Hindu beliefs as well. For example, Buddhism is unconcerned with the Hindu pantheon of millions of gods, but the Sinhalese worship Hindu deities whom they believe control daily life. Over time, the people may come to see a formerly popular god as inadequate, and they may change their allegiance to another god. In addition to gods, the Sinhalese believe in demons, whom they must appease through rituals conducted by exorcists.


What Are Their Needs?

The Buddhist Sinhalese have great spiritual needs. Although a few converted to Christianity during the colonial period, most of them still have no real understanding of the gospel message. Fervent intercession, evangelistic materials, and increased missionary efforts are all greatly needed if the Sinhalese are to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries who can witness to the Sinhalese people in Thailand in culturally relevant ways.
* Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of the Sinhalese so they will be receptive to the gospel.
* Pray that God will use the few Sinhalese believers to share the love of Christ with their own people in Sri Lanka and in Thailand.
* Pray for a strong church to emerge among the Sinhalese that will be defined by discipleship and obedience to the ways of Jesus.


References

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/091025/News/nws_12.html
http://www.expat.com/en/nationalities/sri-lankan/in/asia/thailand/
http://www.ft.lk/article/54065/Sri-Lankans-in--Thailand-safe
http://www.sundaytimes.lk/081130/News/sundaytimesnews_16.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_diaspora


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Sinhalese
People Name in Country Sinhalese
Population in Thailand 71,000
World Population 11,142,800
Total Countries 18
Indigenous No
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 2 to 3
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 6  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Cingalese, Singalese, Singhalese, Sinhala, सिनलीज़
People ID 14196
ROP3 Code 109305
Country Thailand
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country Thailand
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Ethnologue Language Map
Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Sinhala
Language Code sin   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Sinhalese
Dialect Code 345   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sinhala
Primary Language Sinhala
Language Code sin   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Sinhalese
Dialect Code 345   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sinhala

Primary Language:  Sinhala

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes   (1739-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes   (1776-1991)
Bible-Complete Yes   (1823-1982)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sinhala
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gods Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
90.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
4.00 %
Islam
3.00 %
Non-Religious
1.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
8.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
8.0 %
Roman Catholic
84.0 %
Photo Source Sally Cawthra, London, England 
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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