Religions Of Cambodia  

The official religion of Cambodia is Buddhism and it has been followed by the people here from the fifth century. Since the thirteenth century, it was Theravada Buddhism that gained popularity and to this day, it is this form that is much followed by the people here. About 95 percent of the population is followers of Theravada Buddhism.

Islam is followed by 3 percent of the population, primarily by the Cham and Malay minorities. Actually, the Muslim population stood at 150,000 to 200,000 till 1975 after which the number detracted under the oppressive regime of the Khmer Rouge.

Prior to the onset of Buddhism, it was Hinduism that was followed here. In fact, it was the official religion of the Khmer Empire. The largest Hindu temple in the world -- the Angkor Wat is situated in Angkor city. The Angkor Kings promoted Hinduism is a significant way. King Jayavarman II declared himself to be a reincarnation of Lord Shiva and reigned according to the Hindu concept of Devaraja. Though followers of Hinduism have dwindled, the religion was reintroduced into the country in the year 1989.

In the late 16th century, Christianity made its way into Cambodia, but the religion did not become that popular. Only 0.15 percent of Cambodians follows Christianity, and all of them are Roman Catholics.

In the village areas, people follow tribal religion practices. Such practices involve calling ancestral spirits and making animal sacrifices at time of personal calamities. Only some 100,000 people indulge in it, but the praise amongst the followers is pretty strong.

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Religions Of Cambodia




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