Thai in Belgium

Thai
Photo Source:  Deepak Meena - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Thai
Country: Belgium
10/40 Window: No
Population: 3,500
World Population: 23,586,200
Primary Language: Thai
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Thai
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Centuries ago the 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 what is now 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. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of Thailand.

The Thai are unusually polite, respectful, and hospitable people. Age is highly respected in Thai society. Type of occupation, wealth, and place and type of residence follow age in terms of respect and rank. The Central Thai are distinguished by a near absence of labor division by gender, which helps them fit in when living in places like Belgium where there is much gender equality.

Where Are they Located?

Most Thai people in Belgium live in urban centers and near university campuses.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many of the Thai people in Belgium are college students. Once there, they seldom have much social contact with the larger society. Others are women who marry Belgian men. These are usually marriages of convenience. A typical Thai person who lives in Belgium, not surprisingly, is a young woman.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Theravada Buddhism was introduced in Thailand in 329 B.C. Almost all of the Thai are devout followers of Gautama Buddha and seek to eliminate suffering and improve their future by gaining merit in pursuit of perfect peace, or nirvana. They believe that merit can be acquired through feeding monks, donating to temples, and attending worship services. Today, Buddhism is the central and unifying force in Thai society and it maintains social control. This situation diminishes for Thai people living in western countries like Belgium.

What Are Their Needs?

Believers can reach out to students from Thailand by opening their homes to them and giving them a "home away from home." In this informal, relaxed atmosphere, they can share the deeds of Jesus Christ with Thai Buddhists.

Prayer Points

* Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Thai people in Europe.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Thai people in Belgium teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Thai families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
* Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Thai family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Text Source:   Keith Carey