Thailand’s first Danish pastor Christa Lund Herum was on 18 March 2018 officially installed as the first Danish pastor in Thailand.
tarting a church from scratch is not a small task. There’s the administrative process, rooms to be found, furniture to be installed, raising funds, creating logos, building a website and setting up social media. People need to know you exist. Christa Lund Herum is currently experiencing all this first hand. Since November last year she has been the only, and also the very first, Danish pastor in Thailand. “Before I came here there was no Danish Church in Thailand. We had to build everything from scratch with help from the local network of Danes, such as the Church Council, who made an enormous effort to get me here and help me get settled,” she says. We are sitting in her recently decorated office inside The Church of Christ Thailand (CCT) between BTS stations Siam and Ratchathewi.
Finding their place in society
So by now the church is more or less settled, but there’s no church without visitors. Therefore a lot of work has to be put into making the Danes aware of the presence of the church. At the same time it is important to detect what there’s a need for – what Danes in Thailand actually wants from a church. As of now an intern, who arrived mid-March from Denmark, is planning on hosting a bi-weekly youth café for Danish backpackers in Bangkok and also Christa is planning on slowly starting up confirmation preparation classes. “Many of the Danish kids who live here may not have much of an understanding of their cultural background in Denmark, and that could be a role to fill for the church. We could host afternoons where we introduce kids to the Danish culture, language and food, something the church undeniably has been a big part of,” Christa says. Christa does not expect the Danes to attend her church out here more than they attended the church when living in Denmark. “As I see it, it isn’t in the spirit of Danes to go to church every Sunday. For them, the relationship with God is private and is something you might as well find in the forest or the beach,” she says. However, on the special occasions, such as Easter, Christmas, confirmations etc. the Danes do come to the church in larger numbers, proving that under the surface there is still a strong bond between the Danes and their church. 22 ScandAsia • April 2018
ScandAsia is a magazine dedicated to serve all the Scandinavian people from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in China, Hong Kong,...