Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: 15,458,332 (July 2014 est.) - Note: estimates take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS
Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Religions: Buddhist (official) 96.9%, Muslim 1.9%, Christian 0.4%, other 0.8% (2008 est.)
History of Cambodia:
Many Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire. A Khmer prince declared himself the ruler of a new kingdom during the 9th century. Known as Jayavarman II, he started a cult that honored Shiva, a Hindu god, as a devaraja (god-king). Under the Khmers, a temple complex was constructed at Angkor. Buddhism was introduced in the 12th century during the rule of Jayavaram VII. The kingdom, then known as Kambuja, fell into decline after Jayavaram's reign and was nearly annihilated by Thai and Vietnamese invaders.
France colonized the region in 1863 and joined Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam into a single protectorate known as French Indochina in 1887. The French usurped all but ceremonial powers from the monarch, Norodom. When he died in 1904, the French passed over his sons and handed the throne to his brother, Sisowath. Sisowath and his son ruled until 1941, when Norodom Sihanouk was elevated to power.
After World War II, Cambodians sought independence. Cambodia was granted independence within the French Union in 1949. Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. Sihanouk abdicated in 1955 in favor of his parents, remaining head of the government. When his father died in 1960, Sihanouk became chief of state without returning to the throne.
North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops used eastern Cambodia as a safe haven to launch attacks into South Vietnam, making it increasingly difficult to stay out of the Vietnam War. An indigenous Communist guerrilla movement known as the Khmer Rouge also began to put pressure on the government in Phnom Penh. On March 18, 1970, riots broke out and Sihanouk was overthrown by Gen. Lon Nol. The Vietnam peace agreement of 1973 stipulated withdrawal of foreign forces from Cambodia, but fighting continued.
In April 1975, the Lon Nol regime was overthrown by Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge forces. In April 1975, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation on the “killing fields” of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot.
Pol Pot was ousted by Vietnamese forces on January 8, 1979, and a new government led by Heng Samrin was installed. Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge fighters fled into the hills of western Cambodia, where they were joined by forces loyal to the ousted Sihanouk in a guerrilla movement aimed at overthrowing the Heng Samrin government.
The Paris Peace Accords in 1991 mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire. A UN agreement was signed in 1992, when Sihanouk was appointed leader of an interim Supreme National Council convened to run the country until elections in 1993.
Elections in May 1993 saw the defeat of Heng Samrin's successor, Hun Sen, who refused to accept the outcome of the vote. In early July, Hun Sen deposed Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the country's only popularly elected leader. Hun Sen later executed more than 40 political opponents.
Also in 1993, the Khmer Rouge organized a show trial of Pol Pot. He was sentenced to house arrest. He died on April 15, 1998. In the July 1998 election, Hun Sen defeated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Prince Ranariddh. The last remnants of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in late 1998.
In March 2003, the UN and Cambodia announced that they had finally agreed on a special tribunal to try senior Khmer Rouge officials on charges of genocide. The agreement was signed in June. Among those expected to stand trial were Kaing Guek Eav who ran the Tuol Sleng prison where some 14,000 people were tortured and killed, and Ta Mok, who died in 2006 before his trial took place.
Elections in July 2003 resulted in a stalemate. Ranariddh and Hun Sen agreed in June 2004 to form a coalition, with Hun Sen remaining as prime minister. In August, Cambodia's parliament ratified the country's entry into the World Trade Organization.
In October 2004, King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne and his son, Prince Norodom Sihamoni, was selected to succeed him. Unlike his father, Sihamoni refrained from intervening in the country's politics, opting to reign as a spiritual and ceremonial figurehead.
In February 2005, opposition leader Sam Rainsy was stripped of parliamentary immunity. He fled to France and was convicted in December of defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen. He received a royal pardon in 2006.
Prosecutors trying senior Khmer Rouge officials made their first indictment in July 2007, charging Kaing Guek Eav with crimes against humanity. In September 2007, Nuon Chea, who was second-in-command to Pol Pot, was arrested and charged with war crimes.
In July 2008, Unesco designated the Preah Vihear temple, which sits on the Cambodian side of the Cambodian-Thai border, as a UN World Heritage Site. The move stirred tensions on both sides. Both countries moved troops to disputed land near the temple. Skirmishing broke out between Cambodian and Thai troops in October 2008, and two Cambodian soldiers were killed.
In February 2009, Kaing Guek Eav's trial began. He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity in July 2010 and sentenced to 35 years in prison. In September 2010, the UN-backed tribunal indicted four senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and murder. "Case 002," the trial of the four senior members of the Khmer Rouge, began in November 2011.
Border skirmishes with Cambodia resumed again in April 2011, as both sides accused each other of trying to seize ancient temples.
King Norodom Sihanouk died in October 2012 at age 89.
In July 2013, the election for seats in the National Assembly was close. Sam Rainsy alleged that votes of his supporters were suppressed. Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to cooperate with an investigation by the National Election Committee. The committee ratified the election results in early September confirming the preliminary results.
In September 2013, Rainsy said his party, Cambodia National Rescue Party, would boycott the opening of parliament and would not participate in any form of government until there was an independent investigation into alleged election irregularities. Opposition protesters marched through the streets of Phnom Penh disputing election results.
The following are some Scriptures that deal with end-time events. All prophecies concerning the nations are leading up to fulfillment of end-time judgments (events).
Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39
Zechariah 13: 8-9
Zechariah 14: 1-16
Daniel chapters 2, 4, 7-12
Matthew 24: 1-51
Mark 13: 1-37
Luke 21: 6-38
The book of Revelation
The book of Joel
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