When Cheryl and I first arrived in Thailand (September, 1973), the total population was over 40 million people, with the population of the Northeastern or Isan region approaching 13 million, or approximately 32% the nation’s total population. By contrast, Thailand’s current running population, at the time of this writing (February 20, 2015) is reported to be 67,360,081 and rising according to World-O-Meters, with the population of the Isan region approaching 25 million. That’s approximately 37%, just over one-third of the nation’s total population.
The Bible has been translated into the Central Thai language, and updated numerous times, and yet, it’s hard to believe that the Isan people of Thailand’s Northeastern region were never deemed important enough to deserve God’s Word in their own heart language; that is, until the Lord laid it on our hearts to set about doing. The translation work is now complete; and, we plan to go to print later this year, as soon as we finish the final review process.
The population of Thailand, divided by religious statistics, is as follows:
94% – Buddhism
4% – Islam, (the three southern provinces, bordering Malaysia)
2% – Tribal Animistic and Other Miscellaneous
-.1% – Evangelical Christian!!
In this newsletter, I continue with Part III of a three-part series on Buddhism, and Thai Buddhism in particular. Buddhism, as practiced in Thailand, is not textbook pure, but is integrated in with other belief systems prevalent in Thailand. Therefore I explain in some detail the Syncretistic and Animistic beliefs and practices of Thai Buddhism. I know you will learn some amazing things about these two subjects (Syncretism and Animism), and what relationship they have to Buddhism, as practiced in Thailand.
To help explain these things in action, I relate the true-life account of a village family, that occurred when we lived and served among the ethnic Nyaw people in a remote peasant village during the early years of our Church-planting ministry. This attached Newsletter can accessed from my website by clicking here: “Thai Buddhism – Part III” (Syncretistic and Animistic Beliefs and Practices) or, by opening the included PDF attachment.
May God Bless and Keep You As You Live For Him,
Ron (and Cheryl) Myers
God’s Word for Isan
Baptist World Missionary Outreach Ministries • PO Box 3303 • Chattanooga, TN 37404 • Tel. (423) 624-8330