Text of the Edict of Religion Toleration
"PROCLAMATION OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE FOR
Phyo Tape Phrai Chune, the royal representative of His Majesty,
the supreme King of Siam, at Chiengmai, and also for the Laos
States and cities of Lakawn and Lampang, do hereby make a proclamation
to the princes and rulers and officers of various grades, and
the common people, in the States and cities named, that His
Majesty, the King of Siam was graciously pleased to send a royal
letter, with the royal seal, to the effect that D. E. Sickles,
Esq., the United States Consul, has communicated to His Excellence,
the Foreign Minister of Siam, a complaint signed by Rev. D.
McGilvary and Dr. M. A. Cheek, against certain parties for molesting
the Christians and compelling them to observe their old religious
customs. The Foreign Minister has laid the subject before His
Majesty, who had most graciously listened to the said complaint,
and had given the following royal command in reference to the
as religious and civil duties do not conflict, any religion
that is seen to be true may be embraced by any person without
constraint; that the responsibility of a correct or a wrong
decision rests with the individuals making it; that there is
nothing in the foreign treaty, nor in the laws and customs of
Siam to throw any restriction on the religious worship of any.
To be more specific; if any person or persons wish to embrace
the Christian religion they are freely allowed to follow
their own choice, and this proclamation is designed from this
time forth to remove any fear that may have existed to the contrary.
It is, moreover, strictly enjoined on the princes and rulers,
and the relatives and friends of those who may wish to embrace
the Christian religion, that they throw no obstacles in the
way, and that no creed be enforced on the Christians, nor work
demanded of them which their religion forbids them to hold or
to do, such as the worship and feasting of demons or departed
spirits, and working on the Sabbath day. Except in cases of
war and other unavoidable or necessary work, and not feigned
as such, they are to have the free observance of the Sabbath.
No obstacle is to be thrown in the way of American citizens
employing any persons needed for their service. The treaty in
this respect must be observed. Whenever this proclamation
is known by the princes and rulers, and officers and people,
they are to beware that they violate no precept contained therein.
made on the 11th of the 12th waxing moon, year of the tiger,
and 11th year of His Majesty's reign."
Source: "Proclamation of Religious Tolerance
for the Laos," North Carolina Presbyterian New
Series 12, 579
1879): 1. For a later translation, see, McGilvary, Half
Map and General Tables
Map of Modern Day Thailand
and Its Northern Region
Stations of the Laos Mission
Note: Lamphun Station became a sub-station of Chiang Mai Station
the Laos Mission's Churches 1869-1880
Source: Swanson, Khrischak Muang Nua, 170.