Cambodia bans door-to-door evangelism

Allows religious literature only inside church buildings

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
ŚMatthew 24:9

A new directive has been issued by the government in Cambodia that essentially eliminates Christian evangelism, according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs.

Sources told the Christian ministry that works to serve members of the persecuted church worldwide that the new directive from the state Ministry of Cults and Religions ordered that Christian groups no longer are allowed to visit door-to-door in Cambodia.

Cambodia map

That, the government concluded, “disrupts society.”

The directive also said the distribution of religious literature should be confined to church buildings, VOM said. And those church buildings, of course, can only be built with government approval.

Government officials told VOM sources that the ruling was aimed at reducing Christian evangelism throughout Cambodia, a primarily Buddhist nation.

“They can do any activity inside their institutions, but are not allowed to go door-to-door,” Sun Kim Hun, a deputy minister of cult and religion, was quoted as saying.

Authorities said the limit will be applied to all non-Buddhist groups, but its target is the Christian community, which the government accused of participating in campaigns such as offering clothing, food or language lessons, and then introducing people to Christianity.

Reports said in addition to disrupting peoples’ lives, such activities also “cause other insecurities.”

Reports estimate that more than 80 percent of Cambodia’s 14 million people are Buddhist, and only about 1 percent are Christian. Mission outreaches estimate only about 2,000 of the 12,000 Christians in Cambodia during the Killing Fields slaughters of the 1970s survived.

But the Evangelical Fellowship of Cambodia now estimates there are 130,000 Christians meeting in several thousand small churches around the country.

VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, “Tortured for Christ,” was released.

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