Pailin is known to much of the world for having long been a stronghold of the Khemer Rouge. The Catholic community in Pailin started originally with eight families who had emigrated from Battambang after the cease-fire was declared in 1996. Since then, the community has continued to grow in numbers steadily due to the economic development of the area, witch is located on the border of Thailand. It’s proximity to Thailand and the readily availability of jobs attracts many people from poorer provinces of Cambodia. However, Thais crossing the border also join the community for mass on Sundays. There is no permanent church in Pailin, so a rented house is used as a church.

Two pieces of land were bought with the aim of building a parish centre, which will be used for a kindergarten, a retreat house for the youth and a small church. For the moment, the land is being used for agricultural purposes. A strong migration to the area continues, it is expected that the community will continue to grow.

One of the mayor challenges facing this community is that parents do not see the importance of their children studying. Once they finished primary school and are able to help at home and in the rice fields they stop studying. If the weather is no suitable for farming they send their children to work in Thailand. The community is made up mainly of farmers and a large majority of young people. Many of the families in Pailin really struggle to survive.





Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang; Phum Rumchek 1, Khum Rattanak; Box 330, Battambang, Cambodia Tel: +855 53 730219; Email: