‘If he joins the Bible study, we won’t.’ A few ladies looked at me for my response. I had no idea where this statement came from, so I asked about that. ‘He is a Phii Pop, if he is coming, we won’t come any more.’ He had been attending the Bible study meetings for a few months. We saw him growing in understanding Jesus’ love and he was considering leaving his old beliefs behind to follow his Creator. The ladies that gave this statement attended for the first time. How should we go about this?

We would love everybody to feel welcome.

Today this man was not able to join our fellowship. I had some time to talk with the Christians and non-believers about this man and about this Phii Pop. What is it exactly and what do Christians do with it?

We did not come to a single conclusion, as everyone had his own ideas. The word ‘phii’ stands for evil spirit, every ‘phii’ has its own characteristics and name. This spirit is called ‘Pop’. The Phii Pop is actually a little different from ‘normal’ spirits they told me. It is actually the spirit of the man himself that will go out during his sleep to kill and destroy. It is one of the most feared evil spirits, that seems to reside most often in single people. Villagers are afraid that the spirit will come and eat their liver. In the past (and sometimes nowadays) people were expelled from the village because of the accusation of being a Phii Pop.

The next day a Thai Christian and I went to visit this man. He lives on his own. After some time we mentioned the accusation from the other villagers. He told us that he attended meetings in the temple regularly, but had not been involved in any rituals that have to do with spirits. His wife though, is heavily involved in the spirit world. The few times we met her we sensed a rejection from her side as well. It could be possible that she brought this ‘Phii Pop-story’ to the villagers. But that’s a guess.

For now we prayed with the man to stop this gossip and false accusation in Jesus’ name. We talked about his lifestyle that has maybe a part in causing some of the gossip. Can he open the windows? So people see that he has nothing to hide?

Sadly, the ladies who brought up the accusation are not attending the Bible study any more. However, the man choose to put his trust in His Savior Jesus and is learning more and more how to live a life with Jesus. Hopefully, the villagers will see Jesus in his life and give Him another chance to come into their lives.

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