- There are about 20,000 Roman Catholic Christians in modern Cambodia representing the 0.15% of the total population that is mostly Buddhist.
- Although Protestant churches state that they made the 2% of the Cambodian population with about 1,000 worship places in the country, their number is not official and they could be less than 10,000.
- The second largest religious group of Cambodia is Muslims represented in the Cham minority that could be much largest than all Christians combined.
Cambodia is one of those few countries with a State Official Religion according to its Political Constitution: Theravada Buddhism:
“Cambodian Citizens of both sexes shall have the right to belief. The freedom of religious belief and practices shall be guaranteed by the State on condition that they do not affect other beliefs, orders and public security. Buddhism is the State religion.” (Art. 43)
There is a Western gentleman at the Phnom Penh riverside with a Buddhist monk aspect with whom I had a bitter discussion this Monday. I was a guest at the Colombian television channel, Teleantioquia, doing a documentary about my work in Cambodia since 1999. The journalists asked me to buy two birds and approach the river freeing them. As I walked with the two birds, I opened my hands and let the two little animals to escape to freedom over the high waters of the Basac River.
Suddenly this gentleman approached the journalists saying that they must ask permission from Buddhist monks to film them. Few meters from my place were two young monks that were, by the way, curious of my action. Read More…
The report of an European Union Delegation to Cambodia, says that ‘environmental and natural resources in Cambodia are threatened by short-sighted over-exploitation on an increasing and threatening scale. This reduces the Country’s overall natural capital, yet whilst great benefits flow to the few; equally great burdens fall on the many.’
Actually, there are thousands of pages on issues like this about Cambodia, mostly produced in English and French with some Khmer translations that few read or analyses. Most of those reports are true, of course, but they remain in archives and, in many occasions, are overlooked or despised by Cambodian leaders as arrogant meddling of Westerns. Read More…
I asked Lim Socheat to explain to me why Cambodians smile too much. When he listened my question, he smiled and tried to explain me. The topic came because an European friend asked me the meaning of the Cambodian smile. We smile very much in most Latin American countries, though I can say that in some regions there are more smiling behavior than others. The African smile is also attractive plus their persons involved with music and dance in their daily life. In Asia, not every country is smiling, for example, Chinese people do not smile to strangers. Read More…