PM touts religious freedom, praises Christian contributions to Cambodia
Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia has always provided religious freedoms for the general population on the basis of strengthening harmony between all people. The government seeks to combat all forms of discrimination among people of different religious beliefs to prevent any exploitation that could trigger a crisis.
Hun Sen delivered his remarks at a ceremony marking the 100th Gospel Celebration (1923-2023) in Cambodia.
He said the gathering demonstrated the growth of Christianity in Cambodia.
“Because the Kingdom has found peace, the faithful have the opportunity to gather and exchange points of view, share good experiences and strengthen their cooperation. This gathering contributes to upholding Christian harmony in Cambodia, and maintains political stability and public order, while offering reassurance to its attendees, both mentally and spiritually,” he said.
The premier complimented the Cambodian people, saying he was proud of the way they demonstrated solidarity, despite practising different religions.
“They are an inspiration not just for Cambodia, but for the region and the wider world,” he said.
“I have said many times that racial and religious differences are not obstacles to the development of the nation. Please do not force this person to believe in this religion or that religion or this denomination or that denomination, it is impossible. January 7 does not just mark the survival of human life, but a revival of all religions,” he said in reference to the overthrow of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
Minister of Cults and Religion Chhit Sokhon said the ceremony was held by members of the Christian faith to thank Jesus and celebrate the peace that the Kingdom now enjoys.
“This event shows the full rights and religious freedoms that the general population enjoys. All religious activities and practices are guaranteed by the state under the conditions that they do not affect any other religions or beliefs,” he added.
Hun Sen noted that there are 114,402 registered Christians in Cambodia.
“Many Christians also participate in many social activities through education, humanitarian activity and operations with the government, often through NGOs. They support the government to build schools, roads, bridges and water wells, and share humanitarian gifts with children, orphans and the elderly. I appreciate the love that Christians have for the people of Cambodia,” he said.
He appealed to Christians to continue their "valuable" work in developing the Kingdom, and thanked them for the activities that helped Cambodia to maintain peace, political stability and public order.