Bangkok (Agenzia Fides) - "To show God’s love, you provide so many social services in many parts of the country, especially those in the peripheries of the society", said Kriengkrai Boonyasith, director general of Thailand’s Department of Religious Affairs, who met with representatives of five main Christian denominations on December 20, in view of the upcoming Christmas. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, the Evangelical community, the Baptist Church, and the Seventh Day Adventists.
According to Kriengkrai, Christmas has a profound meaning for the life of every man: "Jesus Christ was born as a gift from God to humanity. His life and teachings are so beautiful. He loves us so much and redeems us from sin by dying on the cross", he added. The Director thanked the Christian delegation for their service in the fields of education, health and social development. He also expressed heartfelt words of appreciation for the charitable works done by Christians towards the needy and vulnerable, especially during the pandemic, when they helped provide food and other essential goods to people in need.
During the meeting, Sister Kannikar Lamthaisong offered Kriengkrai a Christmas present as a sign of good will.
"As members of a delegation of the five Christian confessions, we met Kriengkrai and informed him about the works that Christians are carrying out in the country", the religious told Fides. "The Director praised our works in favor of others, especially those marginalized in society", she said.
In a Country with a Buddhist majority, the Thai Constitution guarantees religious freedom for all. At the government level, the Department of Religious Affairs is entrusted by law with the responsibility to conduct religious affairs in the country by "preserving, promoting, supporting, and protecting" Buddhism and other religions approved by the authorities.
The Department intends to "promote good understanding and unity among followers of all religions".
The Catholic mission in Thailand began 350 years ago in a nation with a Buddhist majority. Of the 69.5 million people, nearly 95% are Buddhists. Catholics represent less than 1% of the population. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 21/12/2021)