Cambodian Buddhists Raze Protestant Church
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Independent Online (05/02/06) – About 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, an official said on Tuesday.
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, said Ros Sithoeun, a representative of the area’s Christian community.
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 is only one Buddhist pagoda to serve the spiritual needs of the overwhelmingly Buddhist community.
‘Angry with the Christians who they felt mocked their Buddhist beliefs’
“The villagers were angry with the Christians in the village who they felt mocked their Buddhist beliefs,” said Che Saren.
The building was nearing completion when the villagers attacked it with hammers and sticks. The structure – situated only 700m from the Buddhist pagoda – was torn down and the rubble torched by the mob.