Worldview - Thailand

Wednesday 13 Oct

Liz and Glenn explores how there is much more to an abandoned housing estate than meets the eye.

“While most Thai people are Buddhist, their religion and worldview is largely influenced by their animistic beliefs. Animism is the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Understanding the animistic world view of our Thai friends has probably been one of the hardest parts of our language and culture experience. Coming from our western worldview it’s hard to imagine that our friends would believe that a spirit (or many spirits) can take control of areas of land, and affect what can happen on this land. 

As an intercultural worker the best way to try and understand the things that seem inconceivable to us is to ask questions, watch and listen. So let us share with you an example of how this animistic worldview plays out. 

In Chiang Rai city about 20 years ago a construction company built a beautiful housing estate on a prime piece of land in town. The houses were big with lovely yards and the community had lots of facilities such a swimming pool. It was the place to live but only affordable to those with plenty of money. 

Once some of the houses had been built, and the community was thriving, a series of tragic events happened which involved two young people drowning in the community pool. After this happened people started to investigate and ask questions of the building company. They found out that the company hadn’t performed any ceremonies to ask permission from the spirit of the land before they started building. 

Word got around that the spirit that lived there was not happy and that’s why these tragic events had occurred. To this day that community sits abandoned and empty. As you drive the streets it looks like a ghost town. Houses are boarded up, weeds overgrow most of the signs, and fences. It looks like the set of a horror movie.

Why have we shared this with you? As we learn how Thai people see the spirit world it helps us to know how we can share with them the Spirit of God. More recently we’ve been asking ourselves, how does God redeem these beliefs? Can they see the Spirit of God, His light over places as well?”

Pray with Liz and Glenn for God to give them wisdom in how to share the hope of Jesus in ways that make sense to their Ethnic Thai friends. Pray for the Spirit of God to open hearts to receive the good news of Jesus despite cultural and religious barriers.  « Back to News