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 Home > About Thailand > Religions > Christians

Christians in Thailand

Christianity was introduced to Thailand by European missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries. These early Catholic missionaries were later joined by Protestants of the Presbyterian, Baptist,and Seventh-Day Adventist sects. Their converts mainly came from ethnic minorities such as the immigrant Chinese. Despite the small number of Thai converts, Christians have made several major contributions in the fields of health and education.

Thailand's first printing press was introduced by Christians, and King Mongkut (RamaIV) learned English and Latin from Christian missionaries. Though King Mongkut reportedly told one of his missionary friends "What you teach us to do is admirable, but what you teach us to believe is foolish," during his monkhood before ascending the throne, he nonetheless allowed Christian missionaries to give lectures, even in his own made the first smallpox vaccinations, trained the first doctors in Western medicine, and wrote the first Thai-English dictionaries.

Special Legal Provisions in Support of Christainitys in Thailand A Christain has been professed in some local communities, the following legal provisions have been made over the course of this century in support of that religion:
Christian Communities
Since early times, the King has been the Patron for both the Catholic in Thailand. Listed below are the special legal provisions provided by the Thai Monarchs in support of both denominations:
  1. . In the royal Proclamation of April 7,1904, an area of land located at Sathorn Village, Bangkok and measuring 2,000 sq. wah (2 acres) was presented by King Rama V, or King Chulalongkorn, to the Protestant community to be used for the construction of a public hall of worship or other religious building, with the exception of a cemetery. At the same time the request of the Bangkok Protestant church committee to sell a piece of land at a village to the south of Yannawa Monastery formerly given by King Rama IV or King Mongkut was granted.
  2. . The Legal Status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand Act, 1909.
  3. . The Legal Status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand (Amendment) Act, 1913.
  4. . The Royal Grant of Land to the Roman Catholic mission in Thailand Act, 1914.
  5. . The Legal Status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand (Amendment) Act, 1918.
  6. . The Legal Status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand (Amendment) Act, 1923.
  7. . The Royal Decree for the Application of the Legal Status of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand Act, 1909, to the Apostolic Vicariate of Nongsaeng, 1929.
The total area of many pieces of land in Bangkok and other provinces granted to the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand stipulated by these Acts and Royal Decree is 59,048 rai (23,619.20 acres).

The Department of Religious Affairs will consult with the following organizations belonging to the Catholic and Protestant Churches which have been granted legal status in Thailand in respect of problems concerning Catholic or Protestant communities in Thailand.

  1. . Bishop's Conference of Thailand
  2. . The Church of Christ in Thailand
  3. . The Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand
  4. . foreign Mission Board
  5. . Seventh Day Adventist Church of Thailand

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