Khmer Keh in Cambodia

The Khmer Keh have only been reported in Cambodia
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

"According to legend, hundreds of years ago a crocodile caught the daughter of the king. The citizens went after the crocodile, but could not catch it. Because they were afraid to go back, they settled in different villages. They were called Khmer Khac which later changed to Khmer Keh. Some also went to the Thai border, where they are known as the Khmer Surin.

They speak their own dialect of Khmer, which is blended with Lao. Apart from their dialect and darker skin there is little difference from other Khmer. They relate and intermarry with the rest of the Khmer population." (From Peoples of Cambodia)

Where Are they Located?

The Kher Keh people live in eight villages in the northeastern part of Cambodia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Khmer Koh people have not raised vegetables or fruits in the past, only rice. That left them dependent on rice and meat from their pigs and chickens, and the frogs and fish they catch. They also depend on the food they can find in the forest. Change is slowly coming through a development program encouraging vegetable gardens so they can have healthier food.

Their wooden houses are built on stilts, with low roofs. The women usually dress with a sarong and a shirt or blouse, men
with trousers or a kroma. They used to weave and make their own cloths, but now they buy their clothes in the district capital. Some now also have motorbikes and even mobile phones.

There are schools in their villages, but some children cannot go to school because of distance or family work needs. Their education is very basic. Reading is difficult for them. (From Peoples of Cambodia)

What Are Their Beliefs?

"The Khmer Keh are mostly animistic with Buddhist influence. Once a year, there is a ceremony where the spirit medium performs special dances to receive the spirits. The followers come to offer things like eggs, chicken, alcohol, money, or material
for skirts. When they are sick they either go to the spirit medium, who will tell them the cause of the sickness and what they must offer, or they go to the traditional healer." (From Peoples of Cambodia)

What Are Their Needs?

"The Khmer Keh are very dependent on rice planting for survival. Those who do not harvest enough to feed their families must borrow rice at high interest rates.

There has not been much exposure to the outside world, but the district is beginning to
open up as accessibility gets better. This type of outside contact is new and the Khmer Keh are vulnerable to any kind of influence. In some villages there are groups of believers. The leaders are simple people with servant hearts, but they have very little training." (From Peoples of Cambodia)

Prayer Points

Pray that the believers can grow and mature in their faith and understanding of the Word of God.
Pray for spiritual openness among this people group.
Pray for Khmer believers to reach out to the Khmer Koh people in such a way that they will understand that Jesus is for all nations.
Pray for a disciple making movement to flourish among the Khmer Koh people of Cambodia.

Scripture Prayers for the Khmer Keh in Cambodia.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Khmer Keh
People Name in Country Khmer Keh
Alternate Names
Population this Country 6,000
Population all Countries 6,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 18993
ROP3 Code 115793
ROP25 Code 303980
ROP25 Name Khmer
Country Cambodia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Widespread   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Cambodia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Widespread.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Christianity  (Evangelical 8.00 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
90.00 %
Other / Small
Primary Language Khmer (6,000 speakers)
Language Code khm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Khmer (6,000 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 ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
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 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
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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