A study of why the peasant peoples of Yasothon, Thailand have turned to the Baha'i Faith instead of the more common Buddhism; how local political movements and resistance develop among the poor working-class in agricultural areas.
En Arche is a journal published by the Student Council of Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies. Mirrored from academia.edu.
The Meta-Narrative of Peasant Religious Conversion:
A Case Study of the Baha'i Community In Thailand
published in En Arche: Indonesian Journal of Inter-Religious Studies, 4:1, pages 34-58 2015
About: This paper examines Baha’i movement and resistance forms affecting religious conversion in Thailand, particularly Yasothon province in the northeast, where the agricultural sector is the main staple of local income. Instead of choosing Buddhism, the majority religion in Thailand, local people in Yasothon have welcomed the Baha’i faith for several decades, beginning during the cold war period. This paper focuses on the narrative of local culture in Yasothon and tries to analyze the story of religious conversion from Buddhism to the Baha’i Faith. Reflecting on ethnographic research, the author will provide theoretical and methodological concepts in perceiving the phenomena that happened among peasant communities. This paper also aims to expand the picture of local political movements and resistance that is developed by the poor working-class in agricultural areas, and describes the social and cultural life, gender roles, and the class struggle in Yasothon in which people politically involve and engage with both religions, Buddhism and Baha’i.