On the evening of 24 March, four American missionaries invaded bars in the “red light” area on Changklan Road in Chiang Mai, shouting at patrons, bar owners, bar girls and passers-by that drinking and sex would land them in hell. They added that they had been sent by the Lord to spread the message so that sinners would repent.
The men pontificated for nearly an hour, while bar girls, bar owners and bar patrons shouted obscenities and used rude hand gestures in reply.
When the missionaries were interviewed by local reporters, the group’s leader, Tony House, said that the men were hoping to save sinners by making them aware of their misconduct and helping them avoid a descent into hell. House is a former Thai boxer, who trained at the Tony Siriprapa Gym.
House added that the group is committed to helping Chiang Mai residents by encouraging conversion to Christianity, and will continue to visit Changklan Road until all those who work there and patronize the bars reform their way of life.
The group leader emphasizes the importance of Chiang Mai’s culture and history and said that it should not be encouraging inappropriate acts such as drinking and prostitution.