Thailand is the only country in south-east Asia to have escaped colonial rule. Buddhist religion, the monarchy and the military have helped to shape its society and politics.

The 1980s brought a boom to its previously agricultural economy and had a significant impact on Thai society as thousands flocked to work in industry and the services sector.

Thailand has a minority Muslim, ethnic Malay population concentrated in its southern provinces.

Thailand's capital, Bangkok expanded rapidly with the influx of workers during the boom years. It is one of Asia's most vibrant, and heavily-congested, cities.

The large-scale sex industry which flourishes there contributed to the incidence of HIV infection - a major concern for the government. Thailand has taken the lead in the region in distributing cheaper generic drugs for AIDs sufferers and awareness campaigns are credited with reducing the number of new infections.

Population: 68.1 million Major language: Thai Major religion: Buddhism

SIM's Ministries

The C-SEA area office in Chiang Mai provides leadership and governance in developing the vision, setting strategic direction, and securing resources for each of the ministries in which C-SEA personnel are involved.

In Thailand we are now partnering with OMF in recruiting church planters/disciplers to work among the majority Buddhist population (around 95%), and in partnership with local churches where they exist. Exciting possibilities for Sports Friends ministries (in conjunction with church planting/discipling) are being explored, to initially be based in Thailand, and eventually to reach out across C-SEA.

We are also responding to needs in Thailand in the areas of education (teaching English and in international schools) and medicine (HIV and AIDS training and networking).


The native English speaker is in great demand in C-SEA countries. The door is wide open for teaching English and other subjects in the universities. There is a real sense of urgency to capitalise on this opportunity now.

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