Thailand is a nation I grew interested in during the Vietnam War. Since then my thoughts have gone back to her many times. There is more to talk about concerning Thailand than whether or not Yul Brenner’s portrayal of the King of Siam was accurate.
Thailand is part of the action in that part of the world even when it is not center stage. The Khmer Rouge’s activities in Cambodia, for instance, deeply affected Thailand even to this day. And, when I was doing research on human slavery and bondage in modern times, Thailand was again one of those countries that demanded special attention.
When you look at the country you find such a mixture of influences it is almost unbelievable. But there are many Christians in Thailand. My own seminary alma mater has been involved in discussion on setting up an extension over there. This is a thing that I find exciting to contemplate.
People like to picture cute Thai dancing girls in elaborate costumes making what appears to western eyes strange posturings, in their ritualistic dances. But these dances are connected with ancient forms of worshipping false gods. And, these ancient beliefs do not lie far beneath the surface of the imaginings of many Thai people who consider themselves enlightened and modern.
Recent events in Thailand show how much power the occult and ancient beliefs still have on modern thinking. The Tourism Authority of Thailand called in an idol to scare off tsunami ghosts because Asian tourists were staying away from their southern beaches. It was a popular Chinese sea goddess they used to ward off the supposedly restless spirits of the thousands who died in last December's tsunami.
They brought a statue of “Godmother Ruby,” known as Mazu in the China province it came from for ghost-clearing rites. They did this to influence people wealthy enough to travel between nations who are nevertheless superstitious. After the tsunami, Asians did not come for vacation because they don't want to visit places where mass deaths took place. They considered it inauspicious or bad luck. The Lord Jesus Christ can set people free from the bondage of superstition and false worship.
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