Buddhism has pervaded Cambodian life for nearly a thousand year. Buddhism suffuses Cambodian people with spiritual meaning and hope. Buddhism first came to Cambodia through Indian influence with its Hindu gods and culture. This prepared the way for the glorious Angkor period when Khmer culture and power dominated the ancient Southeast Asia.
The Great Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, a Buddha’s student from childhood, made it a dominant religion. On the tangible evidence of his masterwork, he built temples, roads, hospitals, and other public works to ease the suffering of the people. According to the Buddha’s idea, we should do good actions for suffering humanity.
The earliest Buddha statues have been found in the ruins of ancient Khmer temples since the 2nd century. In the National Museum in Phnom Penh, you can see a collection of the stone Buddha statues taken from the ruins of 5th-century temples. Around the country are 3,371 pagodas, including 90 pagodas in Phnom Penh.