" We are the people of hope, with hope we can build the future"

Sr. Hasumati


" My energy is to live like Jesus Christ"

Fr. Borey


"Towards the future...
with you

Fr. Francisco


" There is no greater
love than to
give our
own lives
for others

Fr. Vincent


" God makes the way straight and smooths the curves of my life"

Fr. Jub


" I am a servant"

Fr. Chham sary



The Church in Cambodia

In the middle of the 19th century, when the Kingdom of Cambodia was all but destroyed by war, the Catholic communities almost disappeared.

In 1850 the Holy See established the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh, covering all the Kingdom of Cambodia, and in 1968 the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh was divided into three: Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham and Battambang.

In 1970 the "Sangkaha", or mutual aid organization was established as the Church's instrument to assist the victims of war. It was later called Caritas Cambodia. Mgr. Yves Ramousse was appointed in the early sixties as Bishop of Phnom Penh, and Mgr. Joseph Chhmar Sala was appointed as Cambodian Bishop Coadjuntor in April 1975. In that same month the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh. All foreigners were soon expelled and the cities were emptied of people.

All the Cambodian priests and religious, except the handful of sisters who happened to be outside the country, and a great number of Khmer Catholics, lost their lives during the years of the genocide. All but three churches were completely destroyed.

Mgr. Paul Tep Im Sotha, who had been named first Apostolic Prefect of Battambang in 1968, was killed together with Fr. Jean Badre, a French Benedictine, in May 1975 in Bat Trang in the Mongolborei district of Banteay Meanchey Province. Bishop Joseph Chhmar Sala died of hunger and fatigue in Tang Kork, a village to the north of Phnom Penh.

At the end of the Khmer Rouge period, in 1979 and in the early eighties, there were only a small number of Catholics who were among the several hundred thousand who lived in the refugee settlements along the Thai border.

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