- Population: 15 million
- Ethnic Groups
- Khmer 90%
- Vietnamese 5%
- Cham 3%
- Other 2%,
- Language: Khmer (33 consonants and 23 vowels)
- Literacy Rate: 73.6%
- Life Expectancy: 63 years
- Area: 70,238 square miles (approximately the size of the State of Missouri)
- Capital: Phnom Penh (population over 2 million)
- Major Rivers: Mekong, Tonle Sap, and Bassac
- Seasons: Rainy (June-November) and Dry (December-May)
- Best time to visit Cambodia: December/January
- Buddhist 95%, Muslim 3%, Christianity (all various forms) 2%
- Khmer Bible: Yes
- Population of Province: over 1,000,000
- Population of Battambang town: 200,000
A Brief History of Christianity in Cambodia
1923: Protestant missionaries were permitted to enter Cambodia for the first time. Two American couples from the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) started a Bible college in Battambang province (in Northwest Cambodia) and began translating the Bible into Khmer in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
1923-1953: Gospel-preaching missionaries found little response to the Gospel message among the Khmer people.
1953-1954: The first translation of the Bible was completed by the early CMA missionaries.
1953-1965: These were years of growth in the Khmer church.
1965: All foreign missionaries were forced to leave Cambodia as a result of strong anti-Western sentiment in the government at that time. The Khmer church, loosely speaking, was not much more than a thousand at that time.
1970: Foreign missionaries were permitted back into Cambodia due to a coup that was pro-Western.
1970-1975: These were years of growth in the Khmer church. Many thousands professed faith in Christ and were persecuted for their faith during this time.
1975: Foreign missionaries reluctantly left the country again immediately before the Khmer Rouge takeover.
1975-1979: It is estimated that up to 2 million of 7 million Cambodians were killed or allowed to die of starvation and disease during these years of the Khmer Rouge. Those killed included most of the Christian leaders and approximately 90% of all the Khmer Christians. Many thousands of Cambodians fled to the Thai border into the refugee camps where they heard the Gospel and many professed faith in Christ.
1979-1993: The Communist Vietnamese toppled the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and ruled the country of Cambodia. No foreign missionaries were allowed during this time and evangelism was strictly forbidden.
1993: After nearly 2 decades of political suppression, the government once again allowed Christianity in the country of Cambodia.
1994-1996: Foreign missionaries began to enter Cambodia again.
Much of this history came from Don Cormack’s book: Killing Fields, Living Fields