The Khmer are the majority and dominant people in the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia. Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. Khmer civilization once ruled much of Southeast Asia. In the 1200s, the Thais and Vietnamese defeated the Khmer and pushed them into Cambodia, where most live today. The huge Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia gives evidence of past glories and is the major tourist site in the country. The Khmer people have been primarily Buddhist since the 13th century. Elements of Hinduism and animism are mingled with Buddhist beliefs of the Khmer.
Cambodia gained its independence from France in 1953. The communist Khmer Rouge ruled from 1975 to 1979 and murdered up to a quarter of the population. Today Cambodia is officially a constitutional monarch but in actuality a one-party authoritarian state.
Many Christian resources exist in the Khmer language including a complete Bible and the JESUS Film.
Cambodia is one of the least developed nations in Southeast Asia. On a positive note, the Cambodian economy has been growing at a rapid rate for the two past decades. Most rural Khmer are engaged in subsistence agriculture much like their ancestors. The stable food for the Khmer is rice. Famers also cultivate vegetables, tropical fruit, maize, and peanuts. Most villages raise some animals such as pigs, chickens and goats. A water buffalo is often a family most valuable possession.
Many young Khmer are leaving rural areas and moving to cities especially Phnom Penh, the capital and largest city. Young people are looking for better jobs and educational opportunities. Since many young people lack job skills, they must take menial jobs in the cities. Unfortunately some of them end up in the sex trade.
The Khmer marry within their group. Monogamy or marriage to one spouse is the norm. Couples often have large families as many children in rural areas die before their 10th birthday. Malaria, malnutrition, lack of access to clean water and modern medicine lead to the death of many rural Cambodian people.
The large majority of the Khmer population practices Buddhism, the major world religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha. He lived in the 6th and 5th century BC in ancient India. The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths by which one can gain spiritual knowledge and escape the endless cycles of reincarnation.
Theravada, one of the two major branches of Buddhism, declares that by following the Noble Eightfold Path of right intentions and right actions that a Buddhist can achieve nirvana or a state of freedom and salvation. The vast majority of Buddhists also practice animism, a belief in the spirit world. In animism, evil spirits must be appeased through prayers, sacrifices and rituals.
Two of the important Buddhist yearly holidays are Vesak, the Buddha's birthday celebrated in May or June and Bodhi Day, the holiday which commemorates the day that the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in December.
Certain foods are required, and it is believed that eating these foods on an auspicious day will bring one good fortune throughout the year.
The Khmer need to see the love of Christ shown to them in practical ways. Outside of the cities the Khmer people often lack appropriate schools for their children, access to electricity, clean water and modern medicine. Christian missionaries can come and help meet those needs.
Pray for the steady growth of the church among the Khmer.
Pray that Khmer believers would be established in the faith and share the good news with their family and friends.
Pray the Khmer will heal from the tragedies brought by the Khmer Rouge.
Ask the Lord to send workers to the Khmer to tell them about Jesus Christ.
Scripture Prayers for the Khmer in Cambodia.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|Central Khmer profile for Children and Family Missions Activities|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2006-07-20|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2008-06-05|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2011-06-04|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2012-05-02|
|Global Prayer Digest: 2014-06-15|
|People Name General||Khmer|
|People Name in Country||Khmer|
|Population this Country||14,086,000|
|Population all Countries||15,961,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||282|
|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|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Widespread Source: Ethnologue 2016|
Primary Language: Khmer
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1929-1993)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name||Source|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching||Global Recordings Network|
|Audio Recordings||Love letter to you from scripture||Father's Love Letter|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament||Faith Comes by Hearing|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament||Faith Comes by Hearing|
|Audio Recordings||Oral Bible stories||One Story|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio||Jesus Film Project|
|Film / Video||God's Story video||God's Story|
|Film / Video||Indigitube.tv Video / Animation||Create International|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Khmer||Jesus Film Project|
|Film / Video||LUMO film of Gospels||Bible Media Group/LUMO|
|Film / Video||Magdalena video||Jesus Film Project|
|Film / Video||My Last Day video, anime||Jesus Film Project|
|Film / Video||Ratchana's Testimony||Create International|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children||Jesus Film Project|
|Film / Video||The Hope Video||Mars Hill Media|
|Film / Video||Voices of Cambodia - Bihab||Create International|
|Film / Video||Yesterday is Over||Create International|
|General||Bible for Children||Bible for Children|
|General||Biblical answers to your questions||Got Questions Ministry|
|General||Four Spiritual Laws||Campus Crusade for Christ|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 1.90 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|
|Photo Source||Copyrighted © 2022 Ari V - Shutterstock All rights reserved. Used with permission|
|Map Source||People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.|
|Video Source||The Waiting World|
|Profile Source||Joshua Project|
|Data Sources||Data is compiled from various sources. Read more|