Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Gathering and Dinner with Christian Leaders [Unofficial Translation]

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I am glad to be able to implement what I have promised to have annual meeting with Christians and Christian leaders. We already did that in 2016 and 2017. Last May, we had decided in our meeting to have dinner together. Today, as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I am so pleased to welcome participations of our Christians and Christian leaders for being present.

In the last two meetings, as I could recall, there have been 13 major points I brought to your attention. Please allow me to express my sincere thanks and appreciations for efforts made last year by Christians of every sects in the Kingdom of Cambodia to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development, peace, security and social order […]

Thirteen Major Issues Shared in 2016 and 2017

Please allow me today to remind you the 13 points that I shared with all of you in June 2016 and May 2017. I did address some of the following issues (1) to achieve harmonization at macro, each and every region; (2) every religion survives under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party; (3) inseparable relations between state and religion; (4) the state accrues benefits from development, implementation and guidance of religion; (5) where there is no peace, there will not be development; (6) faith in religion creates peace in mind and heart to do away extremism and violence; (7) CPP brings and keeps peace and development and further efficiency; (8) less fancy churches are better than prohibition of religious freedom; (9) voting for CPP is voting to guarantee peace and development; (10) CPP is for racial and religious harmonization; (11) let’s every religions live together without insulting each other; (12) every religions need independence, political stability, and socio-economic development; and (13) better human resource leads to strength of religion for faith and contribution for socio-economic construction […]

Policy on Religions Is Not a Game for Votes

Actually in point (1), I wish to remind that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) considers racial and religious harmonization an important issue that guarantees peace, national reconciliation, stability, and social order. It is obvious to everyone that in nearly 40 years, religions in Cambodia revived after the liberation from the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime. We had seen under the regime prohibition of rights and freedom of faiths and religions. We also see problems they created from racial and religious discontents. CPP has made it a clear policy from the start that this policy is not a game for electoral campaigns. CPP has implemented it and people are living together in peace […]

Racial and Religious Difference Not Obstacles to Peace and Development

In Cambodia there are three major religions – Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. There are some others faiths. We have come to a conclusion that between races, and religions or faiths, there would be no obstacles (for peace and development). Racial and religious differences are not obstacles of peace making, national reconciliation, and national development. It is true that there have been many problems in this world caused by conflicts of religions, between one religion and another, and even among different sects in one religion. In Buddhism we also have Theravada and Mahayana. There are many sects in Christianity as well […]

Harmonization of Religion at Macro and in Each Religion

We Cambodians – Buddhists, Islamists, and Christians – are proud that in our country there are no terrorist attacks and/or (religious) killing. Even so, I continue to call for harmonization at macro and in each religion. At a macro level, the Royal Government paid attention to every religions according to people’s beliefs. We have seen here Christians coming from every circles – farmers, workers, traders, and even students. We will keep on taking care of religions and make sure that each religion will not do harm on one another. Buddhists follow Buddhism, Islamists follow Islam, and Christians follow Christ. Each and every sect of each religion must continue to keep up harmonization […]

Every Religion Receives Peace and Progress from CPP’s Policy

In the framework of the Royal Government, as a ruling party, CPP has already shown that its policy is for harmony and progress of every religions in the Kingdom of Cambodia. As I said earlier, this policy is not a quick and dirty thing designed only to gain supports and votes whenever needed. CPP has had it implemented regularly and every religious followers are benefiting from peace and progress thanks to the political platform of the Cambodian People’s Party and the leadership of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

In this sense, I am insisting that every religion must ensure harmonization in itself and among its various sects […] to guarantee that there will not be conflicts among religions, there is only one basic principle to pursue, and it is to exercise mutual respect and refrain from causing troubles to/on one another […] not only in religions, even in marriage, there may be different observations and practices. The important element here is that one religion should not insult other religion, or other sects in same religion […]

Every Religion Takes Part in Keeping Peace, Political Stability, Social Order

I continue to call on every religion in the Kingdom of Cambodia, represented by some 3,000 here today for Christianity, to keep up their participations with the Royal Government in defending peace, political stability, security, and social order. I could reiterate that freedom of religion/faith could not be at your avail in a country torn by war. The same is true for development, it would not bear in the country of war. Freedom, democracy, and human rights would not survive in a country at war. It is in this sense that (while Cambodia is in peace) our people are happy practicing their religious faiths and celebrating their religious ceremonies under the roof of peace. It is an undeniable truth.

Religious Activities in Cambodia Are Free from Fear of Terrorism

In some countries, when people went out to practice their religious ceremonies, they always have concerns of terrorist attacks. However, our Christians here would not have that feeling. That is the benefit stemmed from the win-win policy, peace, and national reconciliation. I hope that every religion, especially Christianity, will make further efforts to advice followers to exercise actions of merit and keep peace to guarantee that there will not be obstructions of any sorts to your freedom of religion and development. Losing peace, facing war, these aims will vanish […] I am calling on everyone to keep peace to ensure long-term development of the country.

Voting for CPP to Ensure Religious Development and Freedom

It is true that on 29 July 2018, we will once again exercise our voting rights. I hope that our people understand (that the CPP policy on religion) is not a quick and dirty work just to gain your votes. I am sure you will make a valuable choice. As a leader of the Cambodian People’s Party, a candidate for Prime Minister in the following legislative term, I hope that religious followers, especially those Christians in the Kingdom of Cambodia, will vote to continue support for CPP […] I am so proud that under my leadership of nearly 40 years, Cambodia has peace and (developed) from bare hands. At present you may not have fancy churches but it is definitely better than none under the regime of Pol Pot […] it is not sure yet that political parties campaigning about rights and freedom would do as they promised. You have it in hands already. You should not let it go. This will very much depend on you. To keep what you have in hands now, development and faiths, and you wish to keep it up, there will be only one choice – voting for the Cambodian People’s Party.

Meeting Christians Every Year

Were there no support for the Cambodian People’s Party and for my candidacy as Prime Minister, I could not have been standing here, more so there would not be a request to meet me today. We meet here in May and I wish that we would be keeping this schedule in following years. I wish to clarify that as long as I am elected Prime Minister, I will continue to see you every year […] there will be increasing relations between political and government leaders with Christians and followers of other religions. Next month I will also come here again for the month of Ramadan of the Islam people. This clearly reflects that though Prime Minister follows Buddhism, he does not overlook other religions in the Kingdom of Cambodia […]./.