Religion in Thailand
Minority Religions in Thailand
In general, Thai people are an especially tolerant people. They have always believed in idea of religious freedom. Although Buddhists try to integrate their beliefs into every aspect of their lives, they do not attempt to impose their beliefs upon others. Thus, minority religions like Islam and Christianity are able to enjoy sizable followings in certain areas of Thailand.
Muslims make up the largest relgious minority in Thailand. Islam was said to be introduced during the 13th century by Arab traders. Today, most Muslims are of Malay descent. There are more than 2,000 mosques, with most located either in Bangkok or some of the Southern provinces.
During the 16th and 17th century, European missionaries brought Christianity to Thailand. Catholic churches have recently appeared in Bangkok, and many of the hill tribes have converted due to missionary efforts. Although the number of converts is relatively small, Christianity has brought important contributions to health and education in Thailand.