July 31, 2007

We are sad to report the Ministry of Cults and Religion has made a new directive banning all public evangelism. Including door to door witnessing, passing of tracks, and open air broadcasts. We are still free to worship and preach inside the church property.

They have released numerous radio and TV broadcasts in the last week to make the public aware. If churches continue to evangelize they will first be warned. The second time the church in violation could be closed.

Here is a bit of the news; "All public proselytizing activities are prohibited. Christians are not allowed to proselytize citizens' houses by knocking on doors or waiting for them, saying "the Lord is coming" which is an interruption to daily life or may intrude on privacy in the community."

And then: "Teachings of religions must respect other religions and avoid insulting and degrading each other, especially Buddhism, the state religion. "Minister of Cults and Religion Chea Savoeun said last week that the new directive is a prudent move. "People have complained a lot to the Ministry of Cults and Religion over this issue," he said, adding that some Christian groups have been accused of "looking down" on other religions and disturbing people in their homes.

Though we are saddened by this, we are encouraged by God's providence. Our afterschool teaching program draws in about 150 students per day; they come to us. The Lord lead us to start this program before any of this happened with the government and we are thankful for His provision. Here is a link to the whole article that summarizes the ministry's position. Please continue to pray for Cambodia.