Thailand is known as the “The Land of Smiles.” The nation boasts of stunning beaches and lush jungles, well-preserved cultural traditions, many ethnic hill tribe peoples, its highly revered royal family, and delightful cuisine.

In Thailand we are blessed with many opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a population that is only 1.17% Christian. 94% of the people adhere to Buddhism, with the other 5% following Islam, animism, and various folk religions. WELS missionaries have been blessed to work alongside nationals of several ethnic backgrounds to share the good news of Jesus, teach the Bible, and equip believers to lead God’s people and carry out the great commission in Thailand.  The work is centered in three regions of northern Thailand and includes sixteen locations. Learn more about WELS mission history in Thailand.

WELS missionaries and partners work together with Hmong believers and church leaders in the northern region of Thailand, Lao missionary Tom Chaleunsouk in the northeast region, and pastors Niran and Temsakun and Promise Lutheran Church in the city of Chiang Mai. Together they have trained and equipped 23 evangelists and pastors, with 16 actively serving today. They continue to work to prepare the next generation of local missionaries, evangelists, and church workers. Theological training, mentorship, ongoing pastoral formation, and sustainability are made possible through collaboration and mutual support from WELS partners like the Pastoral Studies Institute and Immanuel Hmong Lutheran Church (St. Paul, Minn.), as well as WELS affiliated organizations like Thai Village and Christians Forward Southeast Asia.

Since 2020, the city of Chiang Mai has served as a home base for the Asia One Team, which coordinates WELS mission efforts in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific Rim.

Fast Facts

  • Baptized nationals: 1,100
  • National pastors: 16
  • Evangelists: 4
  • Congregations and preaching stations: 16

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All over the map

Ministry in Thailand is…all over the map.

In January, I…

Praying for Thailand

Pray for the Lord’s continued guidance and protection of our national pastors, seminary students, and missionaries as they serve the Lord’s church. Pray for our congregations that are bringing the Gospel to their communities where the Christian religion is all but unknown. Pray also for the eventual development of a national Thai church body that will someday be able to stand on its own financially and govern itself as an independent church in fellowship with WELS.


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Browse through and share pictures of Thailand taken by WELS missionaries and national workers.