In 1990, when the Christian church in Cambodia was granted permission to operate by the government, there were ten Protestant churches in the country, all in Phnom Penh.
At a consultation held at the end of 2002, leaders of churches, denominations and mission agencies estimated that there were over 2,000 evangelical churches and over 100,000 evangelical Christians in Cambodia. The number of churches includes those awaiting registration by the Ministry of Religion and Cults.
The International Religious Freedom Report 2010, from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, US Department of State, estimated that the Christian community constitutes approximately 2% of Cambodia’s population. The report stated that Cambodia has 1,292 churches (1,224 Protestant and 68 Roman Catholic), of which about 1,000 are registered with the government [12.1]. In adition, the report refers to 883 ‘offices of prayer’. The report explains: ‘The government makes a legal distinction between churches and offices of prayer. Establishment of a church requires that the founders own the building and the land where the church is located. The facility must have a minimum capacity of 200 persons, and the permit application requires support of at least 100 congregants. By contrast, an office of prayer can be located on/in rented facilities/property, does not require a minimum capacity for the facility, and the permit application requires only 20 supporters.’