Cambodian Church saved by the prayers of a
(Fides Service) - A Cambodian Christian tells us that he remembers
when the Red Khmer announced to the nation that all religion would
be abolished and no one would go to church any more. This was the
year 1975. On April 14, 1990, 15 years later, Christians were once
again allowed to profess their faith in public. Although no priests
survived the persecution, the faith did. Vythy Mimetto, who was
ten years old at the time, used to say the Our Father and Hail Mary
every night before he went to sleep at the children's camp where
he lived. "I used to whisper the prayers and keep my hand over
my mouth so no one would see. I thought that if I didn't say the
prayers every day I would forget them and that there would never
be anyone to teach me them again". The prayers of this little
boy helped to keep the faith alive and prepare a new future for
the Church in Cambodia. GD (Fides 28/06/2002)
Ordinations To Be First In Wake Of "Killing Fields"
4 Deacons-to-Be Were Victims of Khmer Rouge
Cambodia, MAY 31, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Four seminarians who survived
the bloody Khmer Rouge regime will be ordained deacons next month,
the first such ceremony to be seen in the land of the "killing
fields" in 30 years.
On June 10,
Son Un, Hang Ly Suon, Paul Lay and Nget Viney will be ordained to
the diaconate. The four, who range in age from 30 to 40, had been
victims of forced labor during the Communist regime.
The Paris Foreign
Mission Society founded a seminary in Southeast Asia in 1660. Waves
of persecutions, however, especially by dictator Pol Pot between
1975-79, did not allow the consolidation of a local clergy.
the three ecclesiastical jurisdictions of Cambodia have had only
one native priest, Father Sophol Tonlop. Cambodia's famine in the
1980s, shortly after Pol Pot's fall, caused a massive migration
to refugee camps in Thailand. In those camps the major seminary
was reborn in 1991.
were able to return to Cambodia, the seminary was established in
1992 in Battambang province, on the border with Thailand, under
the direction of Father Bernard Durpaz and Jesuit Father Jean-Marie
was moved to Phnom Penh, the capital, in December 1998, in an effort
to offer new possibilities for the formation of local clergy. The
seminary has been under the direction of Father Omer Giraldo, MXY,
and Paris Foreign Mission Father Bruno Cosme.