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Thailand is a deeply religious country, with over 90% of its population being Theravada Buddhists. Nonetheless, there is freedom of religion in Thailand, and mosques and churches can often be found next to Buddhist temples in the larger Thai cities. Most of Thailand’s Muslim citizens live in the far south of the country, bordering Malaysia.
But Buddhism for Thais is much more than a set of religious beliefs; it infuses their entire lifestyle, and is the lifeblood of every Thai village. The temple is the center of village life, and no ceremony is complete without a number of monks – usually 3, 5, or 7 – officiating and chanting during the ceremony, be it a wedding, a funeral, a new house, or a newborn child.