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Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom-Penh
Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom-Penh

History

The Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh which covers the Kingdom of Cambodia, was established on August 30, 1850, by the Holy See.

The three provinces of lower Cambodia, namely, Phsardec, Chaudoc and Sroctrang (South Vietnam), came under the care of Apostolic Vicar of Phnom Penh from 1870 through 1955. The Holy See later announced on September 20, 1955 that the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh need only take care of the Catholics of Cambodia.

The Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh was divided into three Apostolic Prefectures by the Holy See on September 23, 1968. They are the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh, the Apostolic Prefectures of Battambang and Kompong Cham.

The Pol Pot regime of 1975-1979 destroyed the entire church, killing Khmer priests, brothers, and the bishop of the Apostolic Vicar of Phnom Penh.

The Church was revived in the year 1990, and on January 18, 1990, the Cambodian government agreed upon building a church for all Christians, on the request of a Hungarian diplomat. Situated around six kilometers from Phnom Penh, the church was to be led by a tripartite committee, consisting of Catholics, Christians of other denominations, and the Patriotic Front.

The Catholics in Cambodia requested the President of the State of Cambodia in March 1990, to celebrate the Khmer New Year (13-15th April), as per the Catholic tradition. The request was approved on April 3 by the Central Political Bureau of the Party. A letter signed on April 9, 1990, by the President of the Front for National Safety, was widely broadcast on Cambodian radio and television, officially recognizing the existence of Christians in the State.

The Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh now consists of the Phnom Penh City, Kep City, Sihanoukville, the provinces of Kandal, Takeo, Kampot, Kompong Speu and Koh Kong.

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