Church in Cambodia
  • Capital:
  • Phnom Penh
  • Population:
  • 14 million
  • Catholic:
  • 20,000 (0.14 %)
  • Diocese:
  • 1 apostolic vicariate, 2 apostolic prefectures
  • Parish:
  • 53
  • Major religion:
  • Buddhism: 95%, Islam: 1.6%, Christianity: 0.2%
The first known Catholic mission in Cambodia was undertaken by Gaspar da Cruz, a Portuguese member of the Dominican Order in 1555-1556.

According to his own account the enterprise was a complete failure. He found the country run by a "Bramene" king and "Bramene" officials, and discovered "the Bramenes are the most difficult people to convert".
He felt that no one would dare to convert without the King's permission, and left the country in disappointment, not having "baptized more than one gentile whom I left in the grave".

Despite the French colonization in the 19th century, Christianity made little impact in the country. According to Vatican statistics, in 1953, Catholics in the country numbered 120,000, of which 50,000 were Vietnamese, making it the second largest religion at the time.

  • Capital:
  • Phnom Penh
  • Population:
  • 14 million
  • Catholic:
  • 20,000 (0.14 %)
  • Diocese:
  • 1 apostolic vicariate, 2 apostolic prefectures
  • Parish:
  • 53
  • Major religion:
  • Buddhism: 95%, Islam: 1.6%, Christianity: 0.2%
In 1972 there were about 20,000 Christians in Cambodia, most were Catholics. Before the repatriation of the Vietnamese in 1970 and 1971, possibly as many as 62,000 Catholics lived in Cambodia.

Many of the Catholics remaining in Cambodia in 1972 were Europeans--mainly French; and still, among Catholic Cambodians are whites and Eurasians of French descent.

There are currently around 20,000 Catholics in Cambodia which represents only 0.15% of the total population. There are no dioceses, but there are three territorial jurisdictions - one Apostolic Vicariate and two Apostolic Prefectures.

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