Cambodia: 10 Facts About Our Mission Field


Cambodia is a beautiful country. We have been blessed to be a part of it and to get to know the community within it, full of wonderful people. As a part of this ministry, we thought you would like to know a little more about the country itself. So, here are 10 important facts about Cambodia- to allow you to step into their culture and see a piece of the past and present.

1. Cambodia has been through many name changes.

Whenever a new government has come to power, the country’s name has changed.  

Here is a breakdown of name changes:

The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1953-1970 (ruled by a monarchy)
The Khmer Republic: 1970-1975 (ruled by President Lon Nol’s government)
Democratic Kampuchea: 1975-1979 (under Pol Pot’s terrible Khmer Rouge regime)
The People’s Republic of Kampuchea: 1979-1989 (under the rule of the Vietnamese sponsored government)
The State of Cambodia: 1989-1993 (under the United Nations Transitional Assembly)
The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1993-present (under the restored constitutional monarchy)

2.  Cambodia has a very young population

A compelling fact about Cambodia is that it has a very young population with 68% of its people are between the age of 15-30! There is a small percentage of people over the age of 50. The unfortunate reasoning is because of Khmer Rouge genocide in the late 70’s.

3. Cambodia is the only flag in the world featuring a building

The building, of course, is the country’s famous world wonder: Angkor Wat. It is the main reason tourists travel to Cambodia. It is the world’s largest religious building and considered one of the wonders of the world.

4.  Birthdays are not traditionally celebrated in Cambodia

Traditionally, birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia particularly in the rural areas. Recently, the youth have started celebrating birthdays because of western cultural influences. Many of the girls CGI works with, don’t know their birthdays.

It’s interesting to believe that older people may not even know their exact birth date. 

5. Cambodia has seen much sorrow over the years

During the four-year rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979), one-fifth of Cambodia’s population was killed.  These people were mostly the educated, priests, and monks.

6. In Cambodia, the head is considered the highest part of the body and shouldn’t be touched- even if it is for good intentions.

7. Traditional Cambodian weddings are quite involved and can last for up to three days and three nights.

8. Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s largest city, and it’s capital. Roughly 20% of Cambodia resides here. 

9. Buddhism has been the state religion since 1989. About 93% of all Cambodians practice either Hinayana or Theravada Buddhism. Less than 1% of the population is Christian.

10. Center for Global Impact has been working in Cambodia for 7 years

CGI has had the privilege to walk alongside many families in Cambodia and share the Good News of Jesus. Ever since we were called to this mission, we hope to bring education and vocational training to women and families who have been effected by poverty. Our vision is to hope and pray for a future in which those we serve experience the freedom, dignity and fullness of life that comes when we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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