Radio silenced in Thailand

Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson.

Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson.

Thailand (MNN) — Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the head of the military, has assumed power in Thailand following a military coup last week. He’ll act as Prime Minister until a new one takes office. He has thrown out the 2007 constitution, so it’s unclear how the government will operate.

President of Reach Beyond Wayne Pederson says media in Thailand was affected. “It’s affecting all radio: not just a few Christian radio stations there, but all radio and TV–secular and Christian–were shut down as it went from martial law to coup.”

The action was taken by the military after more than six months of large-scale protests, both by those backing Yingluck Shinawat’s government and those opposed to it. There have been periodic outbursts of deadly violence in the streets.  She was ousted from power by a constitutional court claiming shevabused her power by unlawfully transferring National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri from his role in September 2011, alleging the move was intended to benefit her Pheu Thai Party and a family member.

Pederson says, “These incidents remind us of how volatile and unstable governments are in many parts of the world, especially in some of these countries where there are few believers.”

While it doesn’t appear to be a life threatening situation for people in the country, there are Christian workers there. Pederson wants you to pray. “Thailand is a country that’s less than 1% Christian, and it’s one of the leading sex trade countries in the world. So, the tiny small church and few mission agencies that are working in a very difficult situation: they’re going to find it very difficult.”

Christians are keeping a low profile and not attracting attention to themselves.

Pederson adds, “Pray that they would be protected during this time, that they would not be endangered in any way by the government or by the [opposition] and that they would look forward to doing the work again.”

Reach Beyond is working in areas that are unreached with the Gospel. Many like you ask how they can be involved. Prayer is important, but so is funding. “Our priority is to focus on places where the Gospel has not been heard. So, if you’re interested in the things we’re doing in some of those far-flung countries with very little Christian activity, go to ReachBeyond.org.”