Prayer Focus


20 February 2007

Though a country rich in agricultural potential, the last 25 years of war, genocide and the power-lust and greed of successive governments have impoverished most of the population.

Buddhism has been the national religion since the 15th century, and 82.5% of its population are Buddhists. The Khmer Rouge sought to eradicate all religions; 90% of Buddhist monks and most Christians perished. Since 1978 there have been periods of more tolerance, but only since 1990 have Christians been allowed to worship openly.

There is an open door for the gospel in the nation, despite or even because of, the awful past. The rapid growth of indigenous church planting ministries and multiplication of churches has been encouraging. In 1999 there were over 300 evangelical congregations with more than one new church starting each week.

Prayer concerns
The terrible genocide of 1975-79 in which nearly 2 million were killed has left deep physical and emotional scars. There are over 30,000 who have lost limbs to landmines, and almost the entire population needs deep healing from the trauma of their losses and suffering. Pray for justice to be done regarding those who perpetrated the crimes, the removal of mines and restoration of the country to a decent living standard, and for a government that seeks the good of all, and is worthy of the trust of the people.

The spiritual darkness of Cambodia must be lifted by prayer. That darkness is shown by the ubiquitous spirit shrines, the strong opposition of Buddhism to any ideological rival and the moral collapse.

Though the Cambodian church has survived against all odds, pray for the freedom from government manipulation and interference, and wisdom in how to relate to the authorities. For children and young people to be effectively discipled in the churches, and for many Christian families to be raised up, who can live for Christ as examples of his power to save and change.

Mature leadership for the churches is the greatest challenge. The loss of so many educated people in the Khmer Rouge slaughter and the dysfunctional society has pushed many new Christians quickly into leadership before they were ready for such responsibilities.