Thai in Sweden

Photo Source:  Deepak Meena - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
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People Name: Thai
Country: Sweden
10/40 Window: No
Population: 31,000
World Population: 23,586,200
Primary Language: Thai
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
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 and even maintains social control. The Central Thai speak Thai, the official language of Thailand.

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, which helps them fit in when living in places like Sweden where there is much gender equality.

Where Are they Located?

Some Central Thai people in Sweden live in Stockholm and near university campuses, though a good many are in rural areas. Thailand provides the largest number of East Asian immigrants in Sweden.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many of the Central Thai people in Sweden are college students. Once there, they seldom have much social contact with the larger society. Others are women who marry Swedish men. The latter group often lives in the less desirable rural areas.

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?

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 Central Thai people in Europe.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Central Thai people in Sweden 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