Khmer in New Zealand


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

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 lead by Dutch missionaries, who say that this church feels foreign to these refugees who left Cambodia's Killing Fields in the late 1970s.


What Are Their Lives Like?

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 a lot 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 or 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.


Central Khmer are Buddhist, although relics of ethnic religions such as ancestor worship (praying to deceased ancestors) and spirit worship are very real.
What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of Cambodian Khmer are nominally Theravada Buddhists, who use their temples as centers of religious and cultural practice. Like many Buddhists, the Khmer in New Zealand may practice Buddhist rituals and lifestyle yet hold to their traditional ethnic religion beliefs. As mentioned, secular humanism has become a growing practice of the Khmer, particularly the younger generations.


What Are Their Needs?

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.


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 Jesus Christ.

Pray that as younger Khmer assimilate to New Zealand, they will turn their hearts to Christ rather than secularism and materialism.

Pray for an indigenous church planting movement amongst the Khmer in New Zealand.


Scripture Prayers for the Khmer in New Zealand.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Khmer
People Name in Country Khmer
Pronunciation kuh-MARE
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
Population this Country 9,800
Population all Countries 16,283,000
Total Countries 13
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12662
ROP3 Code 104946
ROP25 Code 303980
ROP25 Name Khmer
Country New Zealand
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Oceania
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Country New Zealand
Region Australia and Pacific
Continent Oceania
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked

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Primary Religion: Buddhism
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 %
Primary Language Khmer (9,800 speakers)
Language Code khm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Khmer (9,800 speakers)
Language Code khm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Khmer

Primary Language:  Khmer

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1899-1933)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1929-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1954-2016)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
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 Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
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 Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Khmer YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Ari V - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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