Cambodia Profile

Background facts and figures that outline the context of our work in Cambodia.

"I sometimes feel loss of hope, but the radio gives me hope and encouragement."

a Family FM listener in Takeo province

LOCATION: South East Asia, bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Indian Ocean
POPULATION: 14,686,000
ETHNICITY: Khmer 90%; minority groups of Vietnamese, Chinese and hill tribes
CAPITAL CITY: Phnom Penh (population 2 million)
LANGUAGE: Khmer (aka Cambodian)
RELIGION: Theravada Buddhist 95%; Christians 1%; other religions include Islam, Hinduism, animism

A short history

The massive temples of Angkor, near the northern town of Siem Reap, bear witness to Cambodia’s ancient Angkor dynasty which ruled the region from the 9th to the 14th century. After Angkor’s collapse, Cambodia was alternately subjugated by Thailand and Vietnam; then colonized by the French from 1963 to 1953. In the 1970s Cambodia became embroiled in regional conflict which led to the notorious Pol Pot years (1975-8) during which up to one- third of the people lost their lives. Then followed years of civil war,  which continued in some areas till 1999.

Today local and international groups are still working to rebuild Cambodia’s shattered infrastructure, restore educational and medical facilities, uphold human rights especially of women and children, and introduce community development programs.

Some facts about day to day life:

  • The average annual income is about $306
  • Half of Cambodia’s population is under 18
  • 84% of Cambodians live in rural villages
  • The average Cambodian adult has had only three and a half years of schooling.
  • Cambodia has the highest HIV infection rate in the Asia Pacific region
  • 7% of children die before their first birthday
  • The average life expectancy is approximately 61 years

God loves this nation!

We believe that God wants families in Cambodia to enjoy fullness of life. He wants them to hear about Jesus and the miracle of salvation, and also to receive education about day to day issues which will enable them to live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

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