A Diverse Land of Multiple Religions

Religions in Thailand

Thailand’s religion is a body of two components: its diverse culture and the other is evolving history. Every religion has an impact on Thai society. The presence of every religion has made the Thai people tolerant and amiable people in the region.

However, the majority of people in Thailand practice Buddhism that makes it the largest religion in Thailand. The majority’s faith doesn’t mean that other religions are not observed in the country. The state ensures freedom of religion; every citizen can freely and openly practise their respective religion. Freedom of religion is also entitled in the constitution of Thailand.

According to several statistics, more than 95 percent of people follow Buddhism, mainly the Theravada religion. Muslims make the rest of the population by the ratio of approximately 4.5 per cent. The rest follow religions like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. The scattered temples all over the country reflect the significance of Buddhism in Thailand. To better understand how religion affects Thai people's lives, here is a brief article that helps everyone who wants to know about Thailand religion.


Thailand Buddhism Travel


Buddhism in Thailand

The culture of Thailand can never be completely understood without studying the importance of Buddhism that the Thai indigenous people widely practise. Thailand religion, which is Buddhism, has a glorious and ancient history.

History of Buddhism

Buddhism started by the most remarkable Indian sage called “Buddha.” The great man Buddha lived around the 6th century B.C. He was the son of a prince, “Siddhartha Gautama”, who cared for Buddha by every means. When Buddha grew up, the grieves of the world made him think that an endless cycle of relief and suffering occurs everywhere in the world. To seek the goal of enlightenment, the Buddha meditated for 49 days and became Buddha (The Awakened One). Later on, the thought transformed into religion and became dominant in the region of Asia.

Theravada – The Thai Buddhism

Theravada is a renowned and reputed division of Buddhism that is also the official religion of Thailand. Ninety-five per cent of people practise it. Many followers of the Theravada faith also live in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. The believers of the Theravada division frequently visit temples to seek fortune, health, wealth and try to achieve the ultimate of goal enlightenment, just like following the path of their religious founder, Buddha. The tourists can witness a large number of spectacular temples in Thailand, mainly due to Buddhist popularity.


Thai Buddhist Monks


Thai Folk Religions

Alongside the Thailand religion of Theravada, the Chinese population of Thailand also practice Chinese folk religions. Including the worship of local gods, the indigenous Chinese community in Thailand follow various ancient religions like Chinese salvationist, Confucianism, and Taoism.

Over the passage of time, the Chinese folk religions in Thailand have developed and got aligned with the Thai local features and traditions. The Chinese ethnic community openly celebrate their festival and live their preserved culture. Among some major Chinese festivals are Zhongqiu, Qingming, and Nian are observed on their respective days.


In the Thailand religious balloon, Hinduism is also an essential element. Several thousand people that are mainly from Indian soil live in Thailand. Mostly, they reside in the major cities of Thailand. There is another reason for the presence of Hinduism in Thailand. As it is written in history, Thailand was once under the rule of the Khmer Empire. The Khmer Empire had solid Hindu pedigrees. Similarly, the former capital of Thailand was Ayutthaya, a name used to describe “Ayodhya.” Ayodhya, according to the Hindu religion, is the birthplace of the Rama.

Many Buddhist-Hindu gods and goddesses are worshipped mutually by religious ethnicities of Thailand. The famous sites are the shrines and statues of Ganesh, Indra, Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, and Brahma.


Although there are Hinduism and Buddhism in Thailand, Sikhism is also practised in the country. There are many Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Thailand, and among them, Gurudwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha is a famous Gurudwara in Bangkok. According to history, Ladha Singh was the first Sikh that came to Thailand. In the region of Thonburi, around the early 20th century, many families had settlements.

Abrahamic Religions

The diversity of Thailand is an excellent phenomenon that can be easily experienced not only by the residents but also the tourists as well. Thailand is also home to the followers of Abrahamic religions. Below are given the details about the Abrahamic religions in Thailand.


Hindu Temples in Thailand



Before the year 1550, Christianity was unknown to Thai soil. Firstly, It was introduced by the European missionaries, mainly by the Portuguese mercenaries in the capital city of Ayutthaya. The European missionaries played a crucial role in the modernization of Thailand. Several educational institutes were built in this respective period. The concept of social institutions gained remarkable progress across the region.

However, according to various statistics, only 1 per cent of the Christian population lives in Thailand. According to an estimation, there are 400,000 Christians that belong to the Catholic faction. Also, there are a few significant churches that are;

  • The Roman Catholic Church
  • The Southern Baptists
  • The Seventh-day Adventists
  • Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand
  • Church of Christ in Thailand


The Roman Catholic Church Thailand



In Thailand religion, Jewish is probably the smallest community. Their amount is just more than one thousand, which came out after an estimation. Judaism settled its foot in Thailand in the 17th century. The Jewish community can be seen in Koh Samui, Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai.


The Muslim population in Thailand is sprinkled all over the country. Nevertheless, their most significant proportion resides in the southern peninsula and Bangkok. These Muslims mainly have the ethnic origins of countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. It is also a fact that Islam is the second-largest religion after Buddhism in Thailand.

Freedom of Religion

It is the beauty of Thailand that it provides freedom of religion to its people. This right is also incorporated in the country’s constitution. The Constitution of Thailand guarantees that every person has religious freedom, but the King of the state must be a Buddhist.