This week, please join us in prayer for Laise Sindra Ribeiro from Brazil serving Thailand.
As Latin America’s largest and most populous nation, Brazil is home to 217 million people (65% Catholic, 22% Protestant, 8% irreligious), and hosts over 603,000 refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable groups needing international protection. Among those seeking refuge in Brazil, the majority come from Venezuela (75%), Haiti, and Cuba, though thousands have also arrived in recent years from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.
On the other side of the globe, Thailand is home to nearly 70 million people (93% Buddhist, 5% Muslim, 1% Christian), and hosts over 662,000 refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons. Approximately 91,000 refugees have come from Myanmar, especially as civil war persists two years after a military coup. Even before then, poverty was driving two million people from Myanmar to Thailand as migrant workers, who remain vulnerable to labor and sexual trafficking. Join us in praying for those fleeing violence and poverty, that as they seek a better life elsewhere, the Church may welcome them and help them to also find new life in Christ.
Laise is pursuing a PhD in Peacebuilding in Payap University (Chiang Mai, Thailand). Her dissertation explores how Christian NGOs can combat human trafficking, especially of refugee children, in Southeast Asia. While conducting her research, Laise ministers among a poor refugee community from Myanmar in Chiang Mai. She also serves on the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Religious Freedom.
Prior to her studies, Laise worked as a lawyer for the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Chair for refugee protection at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (Vitória, Brazil) and for Rahwa, a Jordan-based NGO serving refugees from the Middle East. For several years, she also served with MAIS (Mission in Support of the Suffering Church), advocating for asylum seekers in Brazil.
Laise shares the following message:
My name is Laise Sindra Ribeiro, and I’m from Brazil. For the past ten years, I have dedicated my career as a lawyer to protecting those who do not have the freedom to choose what they can believe: refugees, asylum seekers, returnees, unaccompanied minors, and regular and irregular migrants.
I have devoted my time and energy to preparing myself academically and professionally to protect vulnerable people. I seek effective policy interventions to create new, beneficial approaches and to eliminate harmful ones.
I’m pursuing a four-year PhD in Peacebuilding at the Institute of Religion, Culture, and Peace (IRCP) at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The IRCP conducts regular events on peace studies, intercultural understanding, and interfaith dialogue.
I’ve been directing my PhD research to investigate the relationship between conflict and human trafficking in Myanmar and Thailand. I’m studying how conflicts increase human trafficking and how criminal groups use war and lawlessness to advance human trafficking. When war is present, it is essential to look at all the actors who benefit from it by running their criminal activities.
Also, I’m a member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Religious Freedom. Recently, I researched religious freedom in Myanmar to foster mutual appreciation and cooperation among local religious communities and to enact new initiatives in peacebuilding.
I’m contributing to peace and harmony in the Southeast Asian region through research and teaching. Last semester, I was a teaching assistant in the Department of Peacebuilding at Payap University’s Institute of Religion, Culture, and Peace for the course, “Truth and Service: Incorporating Peace Education for International Undergraduate Students.”
As a teacher, I helped organize interreligious and intercultural service projects, focusing on common ground regarding visions of service and environmental protection. The project raised awareness among students about different religious backgrounds and their shared commitments to faith in service and environmental protection. The goal was to demonstrate how faith invites followers to become active and responsible citizens.
My Prayer Requests
I thank God for the financial provision through ScholarLeaders.
Please pray that God would give me the strength and wisdom to complete my studies.
Pray as well for God to protect my family back in Brazil.
Pray for the church that I’m helping, for God to bless them and grow them in the knowledge, unity, and love of Jesus Christ.
Laise Sindra Ribeiro