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|Christian Adherents:||0.80 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||Southeast Asian Peoples|
The Central Thais are a people group from Thailand and are a part of the people from Thailand living in Australia. The first famous person from Thailand to come to Australia was Butra Mahintra who was sent by King Rama the sixth in the early 1920s to buy racehorses. Australian connections with royalty from Thailand further came about in 1927 when Prince Purachatra led a group of people to look at agriculture and infrastructure in Australia. A few more people came in the early 1950s when students from Thailand and other parts of Asia came as students in Australia. They were allowed to stay temporarily with exceptions, like those who married Australians. After that, most of the new people from Thailand were students also, as well as marriage partners of Australians and those doing military training through sponsorship. In the 1980s, the number of students from Thailand increased considerably. Thailand was becoming wealthier, and they viewed degrees from foreign universities as carrying more prestige. Most Thai Australians live in Sydney. Others live in Melbourne in the state of Victoria.
Most of the newcomers from Thailand in 1996-97 immigrated under the Preferential Family category. This included marriage partners and children of people living in Australia. Many of them work in professional, clerical, sales and other jobs. Besides Thai, they speak Australian English. Thai Town is a neighborhood in Sydney which has restaurants and grocery stores. They celebrate Thai festivals in Thai Town.
Whether in Thailand or Australia, the saying is still true that "to be Thai is to be Buddhist." They have wats, Buddhist temples. These are for cultural as well as spiritual events. Buddhism is central to the Thai identity.
Few of these immigrants have placed their trust in Christ, the one who called himself the Bread of Life. Little has been done to reach them for Christ. There is only one small ethnic Thai church working to reaching the Thai Buddhists in Australia.
Pray for the Lord to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the Thai people in Australia as a testimony of his power and love. Pray that the Thai people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ this decade.