Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh

Apostolic Vicariate Of Phnom Penh

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Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh

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The Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh is a territorial subdivision of the Roman Catholic Church in Cambodia. It is immediately subject to the Holy See.

The vicariate covers an area of 31,946 km² of southern Cambodia, covering the cities Phnom Penh, Kep and Sihanoukville, and Kandal, Takéo, Kampot, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces. As of 2002, of the 4.4 million citizens in this prefecture, 13,250 are member of the Catholic Church. The vicariate is subdivided into 4 parishes, and has 17 priests.


The Vicariate Apostolic of Cambodia was erected on August 30, 1850. Since 1860 it was responsible for the provinces Phsar Dek, Chau Doc and Soc Trang of lower Cambodia, now part of Vietnam. In 1924, it was renamed as Vicariate Apostolic of Phnom Penh. On September 20, 1955, the vicariate became responsible for all of Cambodia. In 1968, the vicariate was split into three parts, with the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang responsible for the north west and the Apostolic Prefecture of Kompong Cham for the north east of the country.

During the rule of the Khmer Rouge, all religious activities were forbidden, and many Catholics were persecuted, especially priests and other ordinaries. Also many Vietnamese Catholics, the majority of Catholics in Cambodia, were either executed or expelled from the country. Most churches were also destroyed. The number of Catholics in the area of the vicariate fell from about 30,000 to less than 10,000. In 1990, the new constitution of...
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