Theravada Buddhism is Cambodia’s state religion and has been since the 13th century, except during the Khmer Rouge period. However, Christianity and Cham Muslim are being active and popular among a large number of population as well in the capital and provinces, showing a sign of growth.
Buddhist monks are highly disciplined and must follow 227 rules in addition to the ten basic precepts of being a good Buddhist. Monks cannot take part in entertainment. They lead simple lives dedicated to Buddhism and the temple.
They follow the teaching of Buddha, an Indian prince born in the sixth century B.C. Buddhists believe that a person is continually reborn, in human or nonhuman form, depending on his or her actions in a previous life. They are released from this cycle only when they reach nirvana, which may be attained by achieving good karma through earning merit and following the Buddhist path of correct living.
The remaining 5% of the population are either followers of Islam, Animism, Hinduism or Christianity. These other religious sects use to have higher numbers but due to Pol Pot’s purging, the members of these sects who are known disciples were summarily executed during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.