Church of Christ in Thailand
French Roman Catholic priests began work in Siam in 1662. From 1828 onwards several Protestant missionary groups started mission work in the kingdom, but by the end of the 19th century it was almost entirely the responsibility of the Presbyterian Church in the USA. This mission became the Church of Christ in Thailand in 1934. After World War II other Protestant groups began to enter the country; some of them affiliated with the CCT, others did not. By 1976 the Church of Christ in Thailand was a completely self-governing Thai church. Workers from other countries were still welcome, and today they include missionaries from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Korea, Philippines, Japan and Taiwan, with an increasing percentage coming from Asian countries.
The CCT represents half of the Protestant community in Thailand. Its evangelistic programme uses both the modern media and Thai cultural forms, besides more traditional approaches. The church runs two universities, two theological seminaries, seven hospitals, a rehabilitation institute for leprosy patients and other physically disadvantaged persons, about 30 schools, a Student Christian Centre, and it is entering into a ministry for the very young, and the elderly. The CCT has played an important role in the development of the musical life of Thailand. Social work is carried out in the slum communities of Bangkok, and agricultural and community development programmes are conducted in rural areas. The church took the initiative in organizing relief work among Cambodian refugees in the 1970s and, in cooperation with other agencies, it still plays a part in the work among refugees, now mainly from neighbouring Myanmar.
Local congregations support the presbyterian and national structures and ministries of the church by contributions amounting to one-tenth of their income. Other income comes by way of contributions from some of the church's institutions. The CCT is a member of a national committee representing all Protestant groups in the country. It joins the Roman Catholic Church in arranging services during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Through its Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture it seeks to foster interreligious understanding and dialogue.