A small Catholic community of indigenous people in the mountains of Cambodia has ordained it first deacon.
Bishop Olivier Marie Schmitthaeusler, apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh, ordained Prak Hong on November 30 in a solemn celebration punctuated by the beating of drums.
Prak Hong is a member of the Bunong tribe, an indigenous Cambodian ethnic group found primarily in Mondulkiri province.
It is the largest indigenous highland ethnic group in Cambodia.
The Bunongs are animists, although some of them have already embraced the Catholic faith and Theravada Buddhism.
The Bunongs are also known as the “elephant keepers” because each village used to have its own elephants, a sign of wealth.