Thai in China, Macau

Thai
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2020
Peoples of Laos, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Thai
Country: China, Macau
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 800
World Population: 22,133,600
Primary Language: Thai
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 1.70 %
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 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 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. Today, Buddhism is the central and unifying force in Thai society. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of Thailand.

Where Are they Located?

Thai people in Macau now are starting to form their own community, small Bangkok. This is where they have their cultural events featuring food stalls, dance, and their own form of martial arts.

What Are Their Lives Like?

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. The Central Thai are distinguished by a near absence of labor division by gender. Both men and women plow, till, fish, cook, tend babies, clean house, and wash clothes. Rice is their staple food just as it is for most other peoples in East Asia.

Age is highly respected in Central Tai society. Type of occupation, wealth, and place and type of residence follow age in terms of respect and rank. Farmers rank below artisans, merchants, and city government officials; clergy form a separate group. Families are the core of Thai society. In rural areas, the immediate family usually lives, eats, and farms together. A young married couple may live with the bride's family until they can establish their own home.

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.

What Are Their Needs?

Wherever they live, the Central Thai commonly believe that “to be Thai is to be Buddhist.” That attitude has kept them from considering and accepting the abundant life that only Jesus Christ offers humanity.

Prayer Points

* Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Central Thai people in Europe.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Central Thai people in Macau teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Central 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 Central Thai family leaders to experience God’s blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Text Source:   Keith Carey