The gospel came late to Cambodia. The first Protestant missionary arrived in 1923, translated the New Testament in 1933 and published the whole Bible in 1953. Its message was not welcome and few believed or obeyed it.
In 1965 the government’s anti-American crusade forced foreign missionaries to withdraw. After 40 years of work they left the Khmer Evangelical Church with less than one thousand members.
In 1970, with the rise of a pro-American regime, and the return of missionaries, there was freedom and growth for the church. Many turned to God. There were large evangelistic crusades and Christians laboured with a sense of urgency as the Khmer Rouge advanced.
As war broke out, Cambodia's story took a tragic turn, and the church faced persecution as never before. But even through these dark times, God did not abandon the Cambodian nation or its people.