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JANUARY 31, 2017

Thai Officials Use Publications From Jehovah’s Witnesses to Aid Community Development

BANGKOK—Government officials in Thailand are using literature published by Jehovah’s Witnesses as part of their national initiative to educate public officials on topics such as effective parenting, preventing domestic violence, and improving mental and physical health. This month marks three years that Thai officials have been using the Witnesses’ publications to help address social issues.

The Thai government’s national education initiatives are organized and carried out on a local level at over 8,700 regional Community Learning Centers across the country. Additionally, the government has set up 11 Community Development Learning Centers (CDLC), which focus on training community leaders. Chaiwat Saengsri, pictured in the center of the lead photo, director of the CDLC in Nakhon Nayok province, northeast of Bangkok, explains: “I’m impressed by the Witnesses because the goal of their work is very clear. It is to help communities and people progress in getting to know the Creator. We have a common goal to assist our community in raising their standards so they can have peace and a better quality of life.” He adds: “For example, the Awake! magazine article ‘How to Avoid Hurtful Speech’ [features] a topic that the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is trying to teach to our community leaders. We found this article very helpful in training them.” Subsequently, Mr. Chaiwat invited the Witnesses to make their publications available during the SMART Leader seminar, where 100 community leaders and 20 instructors from 28 different provinces met to receive training on leadership and community building. The Witnesses are pictured in the lead photo beside Mr. Chaiwat.

Anthony Petratyotin, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thailand, states: “We are happy to know that community leaders are making such good use of the Bible-based advice found in our publications. We will continue to make our literature available to officials, along with our primary means of distribution—our public ministry.”

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000

Thailand: Anthony Petratyotin, +66-2-375-2200