Ponchai Banchasawan, pastor of the Thupberg congregation of the Hmong Church of Christ in Thailand, stands next to a debris field where the chair of his congregation owned a guest house that he rented to people vacationing in the mountains. In the summer of 2016, government soldiers surrounded this property, told the owner he did not have proper permits, and destroyed the building – a loss to him of some US$166,000. Pastor Ponchai believes the demolition came from prejudice and persecution. Hmong followers of Jesus are a double minority: people of Chinese descent in a Thai society, and Christians in a Buddhist culture. Pastor Ponchai’s congregation and others from the Hmong people of Thailand are committed to Jesus’ way of peace and forgiveness. Forming the Hmong 7th District of the Church of Christ in Thailand, they were welcomed as members of Mennonite World Conference by the MWC Executive Committee in February 2017.
—a Mennonite World Conference release, by J. Nelson Kraybill, MWC president