After long spiritual road, Cambodian genocide survivor to enter church

Phally Budock, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide, will enter the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Silver Spring, Md. She is pictured in a March 13, 2019, photo. (CNS photo/Mihoko Owada, Catholic Standard) See NEW-CATHOLICS-GENOCIDE-SURVIVOR April 15, 2019.

Washington – Phally Budock, who will enter the church this Easter at St. Andrew Apostle Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, has always believed in God, but for a long time she did not understand why God allowed terrible things to happen, such as the atrocities she witnessed during the Cambodian genocide in the late 1970s.

“I didn’t understand, if there is a God who is almighty and so powerful, why did he let so many of my family members die during the war?” she said. “I didn’t understand, if God was good and God was almighty, why didn’t he intercede and save us?”

Budock was just 5 when the communist regime, the Khmer Rouge, forced her family out of their home. The regime was trying to eliminate all educated citizens, and Budock’s father, who was educated in the U.S., had a high-profile job as a president of an agricultural bank.

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