:: Hindis and Sikhs

The approximately 20,000 Indians residing in Thailand are almost equally divided between Hindus and Sikhs. The Hindu community is mostly concentrated in Bangkok, where it worships at four main Hindu temples. There are also several Brahman shrines at which Hindus and Buddhists like worship. The Hindus operate their own school where the curriculum is based on the Thai education system, though in addition to Thai it teaches Hindi, Sanskrit, and English

The Sikhs, too, are concentrated mainly in Bangkok. Divided into two sects, they worship at two different temples. Collectively, the Sikhs operate a free school for poor children, regardless of caste, creed, or religion, and through several charitable associations they support the aged and the sick.

Hindus and the Sikhs, though belonging to smaller groups, enjoy full religious rights and liberty and live with the same happiness enjoyed by the large groups in this Kingdom of tolerance and freedom, Thailand.

:: Muslims

Muslims comprise Thailand's largest religious minority and are concentrated mainly in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala,and Satun. Isalam is said to have been introduced to the Malay Peninsula by Arab traders and adventurers during the 13th century. Most Thai Muslims are of Malay descent, reflecting the common cultural heritage Thailand's southernmost provinces share with Malaysia.

Ninety-nine per cent Sunni and one per cent Shi'ite, Thai Muslims enjoy inspirational and financial support from His Majesty the King, who provided money for translating the Koran into Thai. Each year the King or his representative also presides during celebrations commemorating the Prophet Muhamand's birthday. Moreover, His Majesty appoints a respected Muslim religious leader as Chularajamontri, or State counsellor for all Islamic affairs. The government also provides funds for building and renovating mosques.

In some southern provinces where the Muslim population is substantial, government employed Muslim are allowed to leave for important Muslim festivals and allowed to work half-days on Friday, the Muslim holy day.

In such provinces family and inheritance cases are judged according to Koranic law with a Muslim religious judge, or kadi, sitting on the bench In addition, One four month's leave with full salary is also granted to allow an employee to make the Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.

There are approximately 2,000 mosques in Thailand, about 100 of which are in Bangkok. Some 200 Muslim schools offer secular as well as religious instruction. All in all, Thailand's Muslims enjoy full state support and are free to teach and practice their religion according to their own tenets.

:: Places of Worship (Listed in alphabetic order) : Churches

Christ Church (Protestant)
11 Convent Rd, Bangkok Tel: +66 2 234 3634

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
123/19 Soi Ruam Rudi, Wireless Rd, Bangkok Tel: +66 2 256 6305, 256 6578

Assembly of God English Language Church
196 Soi Sukhumvit 63 (Ekamai 16) Sukhumvit Rd. Bangkok Tel. (662) 3918609

International Church
73 Soi Sukhumvit 19 Sukhumvit Rd. Bangkok
Tel. (662) 2533353

Khlong Toey Chruch
2291/5-9 Rama 4 Rd. Bangkok
Tel. (662) 2501649

Prakhanong Church
11 Soi Santisuk Sukhumvit Rd. Bangkok
Tel. (662) 3915569

Sathupradit Chruch
265/262 Soi Taweewattana Sathupradit Rd. Bangkok Tel. (662) 2118456, 2128443

Wattana Church
34 Soi Sukhumvit 15 Sukhumvit Rd. Bangkok
Tel. (662) 2557243-4

:: Hindu Temples

Maha Uma Devil Connor of Silom and Pan Roads, Bangkok
Hindu Temple Naratiwat Tel (073) 571 672