Amid ancient ruins and modern struggles, new generations emerge with opportunity

Cambodia’s colorful and extravagant traditions harken back to the Khmer Empire with costumes, dances and Buddhist temples that reflect rituals from thousands of years ago. Buddhism remains the dominant religion in the country today.

In contrast to its urbanized Asian neighbors, Cambodia is primarily rural, with miles of verdant rice fields and forests watered by the rains of the monsoon season.

Textiles and tourism support a growing national economy, yet many Cambodians live on less than $3 per day. The country has been cited as a source and destination for human trafficking, often facilitated by families seeking to gain additional income.

During the Cambodian genocide of the late 1970s, communist forces of the Khmer Rouge took the lives of one in four citizens, or about two million people. But the country’s emerging generations anticipate greater opportunity and democratic freedom.

Your participation with Missions Door supports pastoral training, church planting, leadership development and social outreach, as well as economic development that provides income to pastors in Cambodia.

Cultural Snapshot

At the end of the rainy season Cambodians celebrate Bon Om Tuuk, a boat-racing festival with beautiful gilded boats, carnival games and fireworks.

Faith Fact

The extravagant ruins of Angkor Wat include 1,000 temples. At different times in history they honored indigenous deities, Hindu gods and the Buddha.

Country Profile

Population: 15 million, 52% ages 0–24

Major Religions: 96% Buddhist, 2% Muslim, 1% Christian

Languages: 96% Khmer (official), other 4%

Literacy: 90% urban, 74% rural

Poverty: 20%