Religion: Buddhism Under the Red Flag

Despite Communist purges, Indochina's ancient faith lives on

During the lazy decades before the war in Viet Nam spread to Cambodia, now called Kampuchea, mornings in Phnom-Penh began when Buddhist bonzes filed slowly out from their wats (monasteries) in search of food. They proceeded along tree-lined boulevards, past colonial mansions and temples glistening with gold leaf, begging until their silver bowls were filled with rice and fresh mangoes. That usually did not take very long.

The march of the mendicants still begins at dawn as the hollow clap of the temple bell calls Phnom-Penh's...

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