Dear prayer partners,

On Saturday 18 July, thousands of protestors took to the streets of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, to call for a new constitution, new elections, and an end to repressive laws. The protests were largely started by groups of students, but as the evening progressed hundreds of other people joined.

Police blocked off access to the Democracy Monument which was built to mark the 1932 revolution that established a constitutional monarchy, however, protesters made it over metal barriers and forced their way through police lines. The police were on standby throughout the evening but did not move to stop the protest from taking place. The demonstration dispersed at about midnight, but organisers said they would return to the streets in two weeks if their demands were not met.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former army chief who ousted an elected government in 2014, retained his position after the 2019 election. Protests began in February this year, after a court dissolved a popular opposition political party. Political tensions have run high since.

Thailand is home to over 67 million people of which 88.4% of the population are practising Buddhists. Christianity has an exceedingly small presence in Thailand, making up only 1.3% of the population. The Christian faith is still seen as a foreign religion and “to be Thai is to be Buddhist”. Those who turn to Christ are perceived as leaving the ancestral ways and adopting foreign ways and practices. Violence against believers is rare, though there is tremendous pressure on those who have come to faith in Christ to return to their former beliefs and practices. Many Thai Christians believe they are called to bridge the gap – holding on to their heritage, while embracing Jesus wholeheartedly.

Please join with us in praying for Thailand.

“To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with Him.” (William Carey)