A Change of Guard

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Below is a discussion about Christian groups working in Cambodia to help poor Cambodians. Opinions are divided whether they are helping Cambodians or trying to convert Cambodians, who are predominantly Buddhists, to Christianity. Please have a read:

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Christians but they really need to learn tolerance. Khmer people will lose pride in the Hindu and Buddhist temples they built if this keeps up.
Anonymous said...

One after another, Christians opportunists trying to grab hold of Cambodian populations through exploitation of their disadvantages by injecting Jesus Christ into their lives. These Christians are on the brink of madness to convert every living human being on earth to believe that only Jesus Christ can save them. The white Christians are notoriously tenacious in their mission of conversion. This is why there are attacks on Christian all over the world.
Anonymous said...

These Christians are helping poor Khmers so we should welcome their works. When you are poor, religion is secondary, you tend to follow whatever religion that can feed your stomach. Good job.
Anonymous said...

Something is wrong with the social fabric in Cambodia. I blame on the believing system that contribute to this social ill. You can see the poor kids work and skip school while the capable adults and young adults lived a sedentary lives in monasteries. Monks engaged in outrageous sexual scandals and made money by performing some questionable rituals. Domestic violence and rape are skyrocketing and other crimes and drugs abusing are widespread. I'm coming to admire our Khmer Islam minority whose community is more safe in term of rarely having rapes and less vices etc...
Also the new Christian faith groups are doing well too. Khmer spent a lot of time and resources on Buddhism, let's hope this main stream believing system can serve the society well in this present live and the next.
14 June 2011 1:00 PM
Anonymous said...

1:00 PM, you're a disgrace for insulting Buddhism, assuming you're not a Buddhist, assuming you're a Christian or a Catholic. These two faiths have committed so much sins onto themselves that they don't even realize it. The history of atrocity committed by these two faiths by the believers have earned themselves a special place in hell. You're just picking and choosing the negative side of a few misbehaved Buddhism monks who have committed sins and generalized that as the fault of Buddhism and blaming the poor and suffering of people who are Buddhists. This is base on your Christian or Catholic ignorance.

You're telling me that Christians or Catholics have no scandals? Well, I hope you remember those huge scandals involving priests molesting and having sex with young boys? Should I blame that on the priests or your faiths?

Buddha, Yesua (Jesus Christ), and Mohammed are masters or great teachers. Please try to open your eyes and realize that all those great masters of each religion preaches to people to do good to one another. As time past, believers take things into their own hands and twisted a bit to serve their purpose. If you don't agree, then you are not practicing the teaching of your religion. If you are practicing the teaching of your religion, don't do it because you are a Christian or a Catholic, but do it because you want to help another human being. If we can do that, we are all god's (whoever he or she might be) children. I'm a Buddhist, when I help another person for whatever reason, I did it not because I'm a Buddhist or make any hint that I'm a Buddhist. I did it because I want to help that human being. His/her appreciation for my help is what god sees in me. This is why I love god and fear god.
Anonymous said...


I can't help it but to say a few more things. Religions seems to be connected with violence virtually everywhere. In recent years, religious violence has erupted among right-wing Christians in America, angry Muslims and Jews in the Middle East, quarrelling Hindus and Muslims in South Asia, and violence clashed in Southeast Asia between 2 Buddhist neighbors of Cambodia and Thailand. The human family is divided by religions with several major religious power locked in perpetual rivalry. Is there any reason to believe that Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims will ever help each other to ever exist together peacefully?

Another sad reality is the fragmentation that exist within each of those principle religious blocs. According to one estimate, Christiandom is broken up into more than 30,000 denominations. Islam is also divided by conflicting beliefs. Disunity amongst Muslims is the root cause of the problems in the Islamic world. Other influential religions such as Hinduism and Judaism are likewise, fractured into many conflicting sects.

Religions seem to influence nearly every aspect of secular life. Religious people are getting more vocal and misrepresent in all sorts of fields in business and politic. Religion is also creeping up in economics. The more damaging influence has to do with the long-standing history of religion meddling in politic. They should be separated. Religions is more likely to be the cause of war when religion and the state authorities become closely allied or intertwined. Religion has been to this day, tightly interlocked with politic. In many part of the world, predominant religions have become symbols of patriotic and racial identities. As a result, the line between nationalistic hatred, racial prejudice, ethnic rivalry and religious enmity are virtually indistinguishable. This explosive cocktail has the necessary ingredients to tear the world apart. The perplexing paradox in all of this is that much of the religions such as Christian, claim to represent the God of the Bible, the Creator. Does it make any sense that an almighty, all-wise, see-all, know-all, loving Creator would have anything to do with divisive and blood-guilty religions?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The last two comments were well put. I was the first poster with the "I have nothing against Christians" statement and I really don't have anything against them, but adhering to a particular faith does not mean you are superior to followers of another faith and it does not mean you are the only means of hope for mankind. We all have the ability to help people in the world not because we're of a certian religion but because we are human beings. Compassion is a human emotion, not a Christian (or any other faith) one. For years, religion did nothing but divide. Or should I say the intolerant followers?

This is nothing against Christianity itself but rather the particular intolerant ones who spread their beliefs on poverty stricken Cambodians: After what the Khmer have been through during the Khmer Rouge era, the notion of an almighty God is comforting to the people. The belief that they have a supreme entity watching over them and bringing them happiness is a wanted feeling.

Most of these Christian missionaries are White Americans. The Khmer in the rural part of Cambodia know of Americans and how America is a rich and powerful nation. Due to the poverty and lack of basic education in rural areas, when a Khmer is told by a White American that he will burn in hell if he doesn't accept Jesus Christ as his lord and savior, his automatic reaction is "Hey, this is a rich White man from America. What he's saying MUST be true! I don't want my family to burn in hell!" So they convert!

"Maybe Jesus Christ will bring wealth and prosperity to my family if I worship him," is what they say. Despite Buddhism being the predominant religion in Cambodia, there aren't that many programs or organizations that the people can go to in order to learn about Buddhism. There are Buddhist Viharas but they're generally for worship and ceremonies. Usually there aren't locals who can guide people with their questions on Buddhism. It's unfair that Buddhism is losing followers due to personal opinions that are spread as facts. "Jesus is the only way," the missionaries say and unfortunately there's no outside force to say "Hey, wait a minute. There's nothing wrong with Buddhism. Don't blame your faith for your rough life, blame a corrupt government that doesn't look after everybody."

Believe it or not I'm not Buddhist. I'm actually Hindu. I recently converted. That makes me probably the only Khmer one on the planet or at least one of the very few if there are any left. After researching Hinduism in Cambodia, I became fascinated with it and decided to make it a part of my life. I still follow many aspects of Buddhism though and attend Buddhist ceremonies. I love Buddhism's belief in tolerance which is something everyone should believe in regardless of what religion they follow. Don't allow intolerance to take away a big part of our Khmer culture.