What do you do if you are a member of the LDS Church who lives in a predominately Buddhist country, wants to do family history work and has to deal with the aftermath of a 4 year genocide effort that literally relocated the entire population of their country? Those are a few of the enormous challenges that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cambodia have to deal with as they begin searching for their ancestors.
In a recent CNN article, Mormons search for roots in Cambodia, writer Matthew D. LaPlante talks about some of the challenges and blessings that come to LDS Cambodian members who struggle with trying to find their ancestors. This is no easy task in a land where families are not always so willing to talk about the dark ghosts of the recent past history. In an effort by the Khmer Rouge to destroy anything that had to do with the centuries old Cambodian culture, more than half of the country’s important records were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge or by neglect and exposure to the tropical environment. Those who visit with relatives often find that the painful events of the past are still remembered by those who lived through those dark times. Family members are not usually willing to talk about what happened to deceased family members or provide details of how relatives were related. They simple prefer to forget the past and move on.
Visit the link above and learn more about what challenges people face in Cambodia as they try to put the pieces of their family puzzle back together again. It may give you a deeper appreciation for how relatively easy it is to do family history research in the western world.
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