From the President: CHATRI: A CCI Coordinator's Journey
One of the 149 people groups in Myanmar is the Karen people group. They are also known as the Kayin. Most Karen people live in the Kayah State of Myanmar, which borders Thailand. There are about 5 million Karen people. Over 3 million live in Myanmar. About 1 million moved to Thailand. Others live in Western countries, like the US, Canada, Australia, and Sweden. Most Karen people in Thailand farm in the hill country of Thailand. They are one of the many hill tribes of Thailand.
In the 1800s, Baptist missionaries began evangelizing the animist Karen people. Animism is the belief that spirits inhabit inanimate objects, such as rocks, trees, and mountains. People endeavor to live in harmony with the spirits through offerings and following widely held taboos. Offend the spirits, and they will curse you. Many Karen people believed in Christ through the Baptist missionaries’ evangelization efforts and churches were started.