|An analysis of factors contributing to the spiritual development and persistence in the faith of certain Thai young people|
|Summary||In a distance learning program providing Bible lessons for Thai young people it was found that many who continued through the lesson program wanted to follow Christ and made conversion decisions. Most then encountered family and community opposition to their desire to follow Christ, and especially so when they wanted to attend a church. Some who received such opposition were able to persist in their faith. The purpose of this research was to learn through the experience and understanding of members of this latter group. The research is based on semi-structured, open-ended interviews with members of this group who have been committed Thai Christians for at least 4 years.|
Much valuable research is being done in Thailand studying barriers to conversion within this resistant culture, and examining evangelism methods that reach into the hearts of Thai people. This research is a study on persistence in the faith among Thai young people after their conversion decision. In recent years discussion is developing on what it means for a Thai person to be a committed follower of Christ and also truly Thai. This research is presented as a study on how this group of Thai Christians has grown and persisted in their faith and gives their perspective on some ways in which they are learning to integrate their faith into their essential Thai identity.
The theological perspectives in this dissertation look at barriers to persistence in the faith that could exist within the cultural values of Thailand, within the Thai education system and in the Thai belief system. Conversion and persistence within a Thai context were also considered.
Through an analysis of the research findings several factors were identified that participants felt had contributed to their ability to stand for Christ and grow in their faith. The research findings also point to reasons for the varying levels of opposition, as well some reasons for prolonged opposition from family and community. Possible methods to withstand or even lessen this opposition are discussed.
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