Hun Sen, the prime minister of Cambodia spoke to more than 3,000 Christians saying that “Christians must be united to protect peace, security and order in society.” On 12 October 2019, spiritual leaders of the Catholic and protestant denominations from associations, councils and parishes across the country met with Samdech Hun Sen at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Center in Phnom Penh. It was at this gathering, the P.M. called on the “Christians to unite to protect peace, security and order in society. Without peace, don’t speak of religious progress at all. Having peace, we can do everything.”
He also called on them to constantly implement commune security policy. Religious communities or churches have to participate in the campaign to reduce and eliminate the question of illegal drugs. They must pay their attention on traffic regulation issues that are the main concern in our country. So, upon travelling on roads, they are obliged to abide by the law together. If this happens, then we won’t have traffic accidents. The prime minister further said that the Christians have to continue their attention on harmonising religious matters, have inter-religious dialogue and good relationship always with other religions. Lastly, they have to continue to train more human resources programmes to make it easier to take part in society and the development of other sectors within the government.
The prime minister was glad to have had these friendly talks and a fellowship meal with the Christians. This is the fourth time that the prime minister met with the spiritual leaders and the Christians for the sake of harmony in the religious sector in Cambodia. The prime minister added that in Cambodia there are three main religions – Buddhism belonging to the state, Islam and Christianity. All the religions can live together without religious conflicts. The government had also provided the opportunity and support for all the religions. The government didn’t restrict the rights of those who practiced their own religion. Cambodia is really proud about all the religions living together without conflicts. They don’t attack each other. For Cambodia, brothers and sisters who believe in any religion is their right because of freedom. The prime minister also commented that all the religions in Cambodia had survived the genocide of Pol Pot after the regime had fallen.
Minister of Religions and Cults, Him Chhem said that at present the people who believe in Jesus Christ is numbered at 114,402. He added that Christianity had played an important role to help strengthen the education sector including morality. It had participated actively in the promotion and the development of Cambodian society so that the country can have security, stability and live with dignity and harmony with one another. It is hoped that Cambodia will avoid discrimination, racial prejudice, people of different colours, and religious affiliation, scuffles and other acts of violence both in families and communities as well as in the whole nation.
Concerning the appeal by the Prime Minister Hun Sen, Bora Vuth, representative for the Catholic Church from Battambang province said that it is true that there is 100 per cent harmony in the area. There is peace and no conflict at all and there were no conflicts with the authorities either.
He further said: “When we ask for permission to organise feasts, the authorities have always supported us. The paperwork related to envoys, missionaries are guaranteed lawfully. The authorities have always paid attention and protected them.”
Regarding inter-faith or inter-religious dialogues, the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang paid greater attention on having good relationships with them. At the gathering, Catholic delegates, elderly people, pastors and priests solemnly declared their common support for the government’s policy with Samdech Hun Sen as the prime minister. Samdech has done his best to help the people so that they will have smiles on their faces with progress and in peace. The participants prayed that God takes care of and bless the head of the government with a healthy life and success always.