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Arriving in 1923, Alliance missionaries were the first long-term Protestant workers to enter Cambodia, and Alliance efforts grew into the one of the nation’s largest evangelical communities, the Khmer Evangelical Church.

Alliance missionaries were evacuated from Cambodia in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge came to power. By the end of 1979, 80 percent of Cambodian believers had been martyred during the horrors of Pol Pot’s Killing Fields. From the small seed of some 2,000 remaining believers, the evangelical Church in Cambodia has since grown to more than 200,000 believers.

Nonetheless, Christians in Cambodia number less than 2 percent of the population. More than 75 percent of Cambodia’s 14,000 villages do not yet have any Christian presence. The needs for evangelism and church planting in this war-ravaged country remain great. Grinding poverty for the vast majority of people, which leads to health and social problems, continues to be a major challenge. To these ends, Alliance workers and their national partners are involved in training church leaders, youth ministry, discipleship ministries, planting new churches, medical work, and church-based community development to help meet the spiritual, nutritional, medical, literacy, educational, and AIDS-related needs of local communities.

Cambodia map

National Church

Khmer Evangelical Church: 65 organized churches, 157 unorganized groups, 24 ordained ministers, and 4,348 baptized members

Team Initiatives

  • Plant churches among the Khmer, Vietnamese, Jarai, Bunong, Kachok, Kuy, Tumpuen, and other minority groups in Cambodia.
  • Strengthen our ministries to train church leaders in both the rural and urban context.
  • Significantly impact the spiritually and physically needy through medical ministry.
  • In cooperation with the national C&MA church, develop Cambodian church-planters who will impact Cambodia far and wide.
  • Translate the New Testament into both the Bunong and Kuy languages.

The Alliance at Work in Cambodia

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Demographics

Population
Population—13,607,069
Infant mortality rate—71.5/1,000
Life expectancy—58.9
Capital City
Phnom Penh (1,169,800) pop.
Geography
The size of Missouri, Cambodia (69,900 sq. mi.) consists mainly of a large alluvial plain ringed by mountains, and on the east is the Mekong River.
Languages
Khmer (official)
French
English
Ethnicity/Race
Khmer—90%
Vietnamese—5%
Chinese—1%
other—4%
Economy
Per capita income—$2,000
Inflation—3.1%
Unemployment—2.5%
Literacy rate—70% (2003 est.)
Government/Political Climate
Communist forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975; a 1978 Vietnamese invasion touched off almost 13 years of civil war. The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire. The remaining factions of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in 1999. Today Cambodia is a multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy.
Religion
Theravada Buddhist—95%
other—5%

Support the Mission

Alliance ministry in Cambodia is primarily funded through the Great Commission Fund. Help fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission and make a gift to the GCF today.

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