Area: 513,115 sq km
A fertile and well-watered land bordering on Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
Population: 68,139,238 Annual Growth: 0.66%
Official language: Thai Languages: 85 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
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Missiological maturity has come in leaps and bounds. Foreign expressions of Christianity dominated the church scene for too long, but increased understanding of and sensitivity to Buddhist worldviews and Thai culture are shaping more effective missionaries and national workers.
Church growth has been less than spectacular. After four centuries of Catholic work and nearly 200 years of Protestant work, Thai Christians hover around 1% of the population. Catholicisms percentage has increased little in 50 years. Protestant growth has been very modest despite many missionaries and programmes. Nearly half of Protestants are from tribal groups, which amount to less than 5% of the countrys population. Pray for:
a) The Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), the largest Protestant, ecumenical network. It hosts a broad range of denominations, from mainline to conservative. Pray for renewal to come to this group; some of the member bodies have stagnated and need a new burst of spiritual life.
b) The Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand. This links more than 120 mission organizations, 55 church associations and seven Christian institutions. It is regarded as the home for many of Thailands evangelicals (along with CCT). Pray for unity, effective collaboration and accelerating growth.
c) High standards in church life. The tolerant and relaxed nature of Thai culture can gravitate against holiness in churches. Pastors must lead by personal example, but they also need to squarely face up to syncretism and the high rate of backsliding in churches. Lifestyles of prayer, Scripture reading, witness and ministry must be cultivated.
d) Church growth and evangelism in Thailand are taking on new dimensions. Driven increasingly by a confident national leadership, Vision 2010/Love Thailand/TEC has the goal of seeing all of Thailand, including the countrys 80,000 villages, reached with the gospel. This sweeping vision includes the formation of a national prayer network, leadership development, extensive research and community-development ministry in addition to evangelism.
e) The less-reached areas. The large majority of Thailands churches are small (30-50 members) and are concentrated in Bangkok and the northwest. Over 6,000 of the 7,415 sub-districts have no church. In the southern and northeastern (Isaan) regions, more than 90% of the sub-districts are without a church.
For an additional 10 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Thailand.