Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Thailand and Japan this November, according to reports in Catholic websites in Rome. sanook.com reported the news yesterday.
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His visit will coincide with the 350th year anniversary of the presence of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand. As of 2018, there are 379,975 Catholics in Thailand, a figure that represents 0.46% of the total Thai population of 69 million. There are 11 dioceses with 436 parishes and 662 priests.
Pope Francis will be the second Pope to visit Thailand, after Pope John Paul 2.
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The first historical record of an attempt to introduce Christianity to Thailand is owed to John Peter Maffei who stated that about 1550 a French Franciscan named Bonferre, hearing of the great kingdom of the Peguans and the Siamese in the East, went on a Portuguese ship from Goa to Cosme (Peguan), where for three years he preached the Gospel, but without any result.