Khmer, Central in New Zealand

Population

8,410

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Introduction / History

Can we reasonably still call the several thousand Khmer people in New Zealand an unreached people group? They have their own church, and at least three home groups. But as of 2006, their church was still led by Dutch missionaries, who say that this church feels "foreign" to these refugees who left Cambodia's Killing Fields in the late 1970s. One web site states, "The majority of Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists, who use their temples as centers of religious and cultural practice." The article goes on to list five other places of worship for Buddhist Cambodians in New Zealand.

The missionaries who are trying to establish a Khmer Church in Christchurch lament that the Cambodians lack the spiritual hunger to attend church regularly. Some go to church if they feel they can get something out of it, but they will also worship at Buddhist temples. The love of money is a spiritual stronghold that is keeping many from Christ. Though some of the Cambodian Khmer do unskilled labor, an increasing number of them are starting businesses and working long hours so they can make lots of money. A 1999 article in the "New Zealand Herald" quoted a Cambodian shop owner as saying, "People tell me I am clever. I am not clever, but I work hard," meaning he gets up at 3:30 am!

As time goes on and the Khmer refugees forget the Killing Fields of Cambodia, what direction will they take? Will their children become so assimilated that they join mainline New Zealand culture? Will they turn from Buddhism to either Christianity of secular humanism? Though the older generation is trying to help those born in New Zealand to embrace the Khmer language and culture, it may be a losing battle as the decades roll by.


Prayer Points

* Pray for a spiritual hunger among the Khmer people in New Zealand that will lead them to the cross.
* Pray that the materialism that is slipping in will leave them feeling spiritually empty and ready to turn to the Holy One.
* Pray that as younger Khmer assimilate to New Zealand, that they will turn their hearts to Christ rather than secularism and materialism.


Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-06-19
People Name General Khmer, Central
People Name in Country Khmer, Central
Population in New Zealand 8,410
World Population 15,733,000
Countries 14
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged or Unknown Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Cambodians, Central Khmer, Cu Tho, Cur, Kampuchean, Khmer Krom, Khmer Nam Bo, Khmer, Northern, Kho Me, Khơ-me, Kmer, Ku, Mien, Thai-Khmer, West Cham
Affinity Bloc Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster Mon-Khmer
People Name General Khmer, Central
Ethnic Code AUG03b

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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Khmer, Central (8,400)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Khmer, Central 8,400
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1899-1933)
New Testament Yes   (1929-1993)
Complete Bible Yes   (1954-1998)
Audio Bible Online
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Fathers Love Letter
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Central (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Khmer, Central
Film / Video Khmer Language Film
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gods Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Scripture Bible-in-Your-Language
Scripture World Missionary Press Booklets
Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-06-19

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
86.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.40 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
6.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
25.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
50.0 %
Photo Source: Cambodia Research Network. Click to email CRN inquires and corrections   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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