I would like to congratulate the Phnom Penh Post for the article on "Missionary
message of misery" by J. Trezise on page 16 in the August 13-26, 2004 issue.
Several Christian Fundamentalists groups are operating in full impunity in Cambodia
today and it is urgent to address the threat they represent to the Cambodian nation.
One should not forget that Buddhism had been destroyed by the "Khmer Rouge"
regime and the young generation educated under the Heng Samrin regime didn't receive
any religious education as well. These youths have grown up and are in age of marriage
today. It is a pity to realize that most Cambodian under the age of 30 have little
if any understanding of Buddhist principles. What will they teach to their children,
if they don't have grandparents!
Such groups are operating in Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc, in countries with deep Buddhist
traditions, where their impact on the society is moderate, but in Cambodia with local
traditions lost, their impact represents a real threat to the survival of Khmer culture,
tradition and religion. In the name of democracy, the government welcomes those foreigners
to activly proselytise in total freedom. The Khmers are too polite and too tolerant
to object to this "New World Order" and cultural imperialism.
Those groups are very active in South Cambodia and within two weeks hundred of yellow
boards have been nailed on dozens of trees all around Sihanoukville and Kampot, as
well as on National Road 3. Some years ago, the same groups had displayed thousands
of big yellow boards on the top of tall trees all around Thailand's national highways
from the South to the North, the West to the East of the country.
The same is starting to happen here today. The local authorities have been surprised
by such practices and we should support them to take strong action to stop those
who damage the landscape and destroy the deepest values of the Khmer society.
On the contrary to rich Thailand, Khmer people are too poor and not free to refuse
"special attention" from fundamentalist Christians. They bring to them
commodities in the form of medicines, food, English teaching (with the bible as a
manual). It is very urgent that poor Khmer people will be protected from such abuses
or they will continue to sell their soul to anyone including the devil, if it is
Good barangs should come to Cambodia to assist in rebuilding the country in the respect
of the Khmer people, their culture, tradition and religion. Those who don't adhere
to this fundamental principle come here with the purpose to destroy the country.
Their main objective is too make merits by proselytising with a view to saving their
soul and reaching the eternal life. This is an extremely selfish attitude.
Name withheld on request - Phnom Penh