We received an update from Cambodia about an incident that recently happened. I’ll let you read and then comment afterward:
Just let know a sad news so that you can pray.
Last week, there were two girls in the community that we supported were raped by 3 Buddhist monks. We are so sad about the news. My family, a staff and I had spent a few days in the area to provide encouragement to the girls. The 3 perpetrators were arrested and sent to the court. One girl was sent to the center of a local organization for support and another one is with family. Her mother called me yesterday and asked me and my wife if the girl can stay at our house in Phnom Penh for a while. We are praying about this and mainly positive to say Yes.
I read the newspaper this morning on the article of this rape case. One of the main Cambodian Buddhist monks said something that is not really true and faults Christianity. This afternoon, I called to my Christian friend who works with Deputy Prime Minister so that he can assist to talk with the government in order to have everyone respect one another.
Please keep praying for the girls and their families and communication over the issue with the main monks.
Bless you all! – Sophany, director of Kone Kmeng
. . . Whew! Pretty heavy!
Now to clarify – In Cambodia, Buddhist monks are a little different. All young teenage boys are encouraged to spend a year or so as a monk serving at a temple. One to see if it’s the path for them to follow and two it give impoverished families a financial break from having to care for them. Honestly, I’m not sure what kind of guidance is given or morality that is taught while at the temples. All I know is that no one is above depravity. All of us have the potential for evil. These boys/monks acted on it and damaged two girls for the rest of their lives. Also, I think its disheartening that when confronted the monk leaders would blame Christianity as having a part in all of this.
These types of happenings are not uncommon in Cambodia. Our programs usually don’t experience this because we tend to be well insulated. But when your country is known as the sex tourism capital of the world the innocent are at risk. This is why we do what we do. To equip the innocent with power, to guard the helpless, and to provide hope and opportunity where there is none. Keep us all in your prayers and above all, if you feel compelled to action but are unsure what to do, get ahold of us. We can always give you some direction.