Buddhist Mob Burns Partially Built Church to the Ground

May 2, 2006

Source: News24


On May 2, 2006 News24 reported, "Some 300 Buddhist villagers, apparently angered by a rival faith within their community, have razed a partially built Christian church to the ground, near the Cambodian capital, says an official on Tuesday.

Ros Sithoeun, a representative of the area's Christian community, said that in a rare act of religious intolerance, the mob chanted 'Destroy the church!' and 'Long live Buddhism!' as it descended upon the unfinished Protestant Church on Friday in Boeng Krum Leu, 30km east of Phnom Penh.

Che Saren, the chief of Lvea Em district, said the Buddhists felt threatened by the visible presence of another faith.

The church would have been the area's second, but there was only one Buddhist pagoda to serve the spiritual needs of the overwhelmingly Buddhist community.

Che Saren said: 'The villagers were angry with the Christians in the village who they felt mocked their Buddhist beliefs.'

The building was nearing completion when the villagers destroyed it with hammers and sticks. The structure - situated only 700 metres from the Buddhist pagoda - was torn down and the rubble torched by the mob."