Journal of Undergraduate Research


architecture of belief, personal convictions, preserving tradition


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




The Hmong people are a diasporic, highland ethnic minority group spread throughout Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. Contenders of Christianity have penetrated their communities with religious change to a significant extent. Hmong traditional religious practices include a repertoire of ancestral and spiritual rituals influenced by Taoist and Confucian ritual systems. Challenging these traditional systems today is the influx of conversions to Protestant Christianity in Thailand (about 10% from community surveys). Beginning in the 1960s, the war in Laos began to cause major disruption in the life of Hmong people. Escaping as refugees to Thailand and eventually to the west “further reinforced this cultural borrowing through the assimilation of new ideas…changing from Hmong animism to Christianity.” In the chaos of political and moral change, foreign missionaries challenged ritual structure and religious practice in these villages in Thai highlands.

Included in

Anthropology Commons