Should we be encouraged or discouraged about the growth of Christianity in Thailand? Many are discouraged. They look at the fact that Protestant Christians are still less than 1% of the population and feel discouraged. It seems like this has been the case for almost 200 years. When will the gospel spread and be accepted by more than 1% of the Thai people?
I am not discouraged because I look at the situation differently. When OMF started work in Thailand in 1952 there were just 14,000 Christians. Now there are 408,000 Christians in 5000 churches. If you double 14,000 it equals 28,000. And if you double that it is 54,000. Double again 108,000. Double again 216,000 and again 432,000. Since 1952 the number of Christians in Thailand has doubled 5 times. For the past 60 years the Church has been growing very steadily. About every 12 years the number of Christians is twice as many as before! Now think a bit more about this doubling. The number of Christians has doubled since the start of this century. So half of all the Christians in Thailand today were not Christians in 2000! This is true of churches too! Half of the churches in Thailand today have been started in the last 15 years. This is wonderful news!
Yes, 408,000 believers is not 1% of the population. But if the growth rate of the past 60 years is sustained for another 60 years it will be over 10%! Are there ways to speed up this growth rate? That is the subject for another blog.
OMF Thailand Field Director