Posted by: Simon & Becci | May 13, 2012

A trip to the Killing Fields

Every country in the world has periods of history that it would rather forget. Here in Cambodia, the shameful and evil events that took place during the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979 continue to cast a shadow over the nation.

Under the leadership of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge took the country back to the dark ages, emptying the cities and killing all those they considered a potential threat. Up to 3 million people are thought to have died, with every family affected.

The reality of what took place hit home to us last week when we paid our first visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a few kilometres outside Phnom Penh. One of hundreds of similar sites across the country, nearly 9000 bodies have been discovered there in numerous mass graves. These bodies have now largely been exhumed but fragments of human bones continue to surface during heavy rains. A large memorial has been built at the centre of the site, housing thousands of the victims’ skulls which display the brutal fractures caused by the hoes, knives, axes and hammers used to kill them.

It is hard to imagine how the perpetrators could do such things to their fellow countrymen, and what could possibly motivate them to do so.

The psychological and emotional scars continue to affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people here. We have both recently read the story of Sokreaksa Himm, who survived the killing fields whilst watching the rest of his family murdered before his eyes. You can hear his story of how with God’s help he was healed and restored, and how years later met with and forgave his family’s killers (click here).

Our prayer is that thousands of others across Cambodia will find similar freedom, peace and hope.



  1. A hard visit to undertake.

    Praying for many stories of people restored like Sokreaksa Himm’s.

    R x

  2. Just listened to Sokreaksa Himm’s talk, incredible. Puts forgiveness into perspective, what an unbelievable experience he went through and what amazing forgiveness! Must be poignant living in Cambodia when it is all within living memory of many. Thanks for the link.

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