Deaf in Cambodia

Photo Source:  Faysal Khan - Pixabay 
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People Name: Deaf
Country: Cambodia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 126,000
World Population: 49,091,450
Primary Language: Cambodian Sign Language
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 3.13 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Deaf
Affinity Bloc: Deaf
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Most deaf people in Cambodia have not had opportunities for education. Deaf people have language challenges and many families do not know their child is hearing impaired until later in life. Cambodian families frequently try to cure their deaf children through folk medicines and magic rituals. Many families do not know Cambodian Sign Language and education programs available in sign language. Since most rural families in Cambodia fit into the category of being impoverished, the deaf in those families live in poverty. Only portions of the Bible are available in Cambodian sing langue.

Cambodia gained its independence from France in 1953. The communist Khmer Rouge ruled from 1975 to 1979 murdering up to a quarter of the population. Today Cambodia is officially a constitutional monarch but in actuality a one-party authoritarian state. On a positive note, the Cambodian economy is growing at a rapid rate.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many hearing-impaired people in Cambodia live in rural places a long way from the cities. There often is no appropriate help for the deaf in those regions. Because of the fear human trafficking, parents do not want to send their children far away in order to get them help.

Most teachers do not know Cambodian sign language to help the deaf population. In addition to the area of education, sign language interpreters are also needed for public organizations such as hospitals, courts of law and financial departments. Hearing impaired people often live isolated lives with complete dependence on their families. The deaf in rural areas often work as unskilled agricultural laborers with little hope of bettering their lives.

What are Their Beliefs

Most hearing-paired people in Cambodia are Buddhists. This religion is followed by over four fifths of Cambodia’s population. Buddhism is 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. For most Buddhists in Cambodia, these traditional practices are where their hearts are.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Cambodian deaf community needs to be shown the love of Christ in practical ways. Teachers can teach Cambodian sign language to deaf people and their families. Christian workers can teach hearing-impaired people job skills so they can gain some independence from their families.

What Are Their Needs?

Pray that Cambodian Christians who know Sign Language will lead the hearing-impaired to Jesus Christ.

Pray against human trafficking in Cambodia.

Pray for that the Lord sends workers to help the deaf community in Cambodia.

Pray that more people learn Cambodian sign language and use it to help the deaf Cambodians.

Prayer Points

Text Source:   Joshua Project