Dispute Over Preah Vihear Temple

Matthew Ley

​No one has been able to say specifically why * on February 4th fighting broke out at the disputed Preah Vihear between Thai and Cambodian military forces, but the outcome has been a handful of deaths and injuries on both sides and 1500+ families fleeing from their homes. In response to this displacement the ELCA, and partner organizations, have given financial support to Life With Dignity (LWD), our local partner on the ground. The funds will be used set up a camp to provide stable conditions for temporary housing, clean water, sanitation and food.

The hope is that the fighting will not escalate further and thankfully there has been a ceasefire in effect since February 8th. At the moment the goal is to help people momentarily displaced while they wait to return home. Please join us in praying for the people of the region that they may find peace in this period of uncertainty and that the two sides may find a peaceful and agreeable solution.

——
* Though the reason for the recent outbreak of violence is not know the general reason for tensions stem from the Preah Vihear temple sitting on a disputed stretch of border between Cambodia and Thailand. The dispute has gone on since France withdrew from Cambodia in 1953, was heightened in 1962 when the International Court of Justice ruled the temple to be on the Cambodian side of the border and peaked in 2008 when UNESCO accepted Cambodia’s bid to list the temple as a World Historical Site, a move Thailand disagrees with.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a member of the ACT Alliance