Saturday, October 10, 2009

Phuket, Thailand: Paradis (lost)?

I've just read an email from friends in Phuket, Thailand. I was there in 2006. It is in many ways picture perfect. Everything about the scenery is gorgeous. In fact, near Phuket is James Bond Island, the beautiful island in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974).

But there is another side to life in that lush region. Here is what my friends report as they ask us to pray:

"From the 18th - 27th of October, Buddhists and other interested people (incl. Tourists) are celebrating the annual “Vegetarian Festival”, which celebrates the Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. During the festival participants are praying to the Nine Emperor gods and have to keep themselves ceremonially “clean”. Monks and people in trance are walking on hot coals or sharp blades or piercing themselves with various instruments. It is a gruesome and demonic festival with huge tourism attraction.

I'll only add, "and pray for the people that are not yet believers in Phuket." Let's pray. 

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