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Cambodian Killing Fields survivor to visit Leesburg

Pol Pot’s Killing Fields are among the most horrific genocides of the modern world.

After taking control of Cambodia in 1975, Pot ordered the Khmer Rouge government to arrest, torture and execute several groups including intellectuals, foreigners and Cambodian Christians.   

Barnabas Mam, who can count himself among the fortunate 200 Christians spared in during the genocide, will be in Leesburg Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 to tell his story.

Mam converted to Christianity before Pot took power, serving as a communist spy during his youth to find out how many Americans were attending a Christian gathering.

“The Word of God moved me to cry over my sins,” Mam wrote on the Czech website Hungry for God. “By the grace of God, two ushers took notice of me and approached me. I said the sinner’s prayer, and immediately I felt a warm feeling of being accepted.”

Mam attempted to escape the country in 1975, according to his web testimony, but was arrested by the government at a small village near the Vietnamese border. He was imprisoned in detention camps from 1975 to 1977.

After his release, he married in 1980 and fled to a Thailand refugee camp in 1985.

“During that time we planted 15 churches, equipped 50 Christian leaders and helped pastor a Vietnamese church in another nearby camp in Thailand,” Mam wrote.

He could not return to his native Cambodia until the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1991. Since he has started over 500 churches in Asia and serves as Asia Regional Director for Ambassadors for Christ International.

Mam will be speaking Nov. 3 and 5 from 7-9 p.m. at the Community Center at 1200 Tennessee Drive, Leesburg, Va. 20176. Call Paula Gravatt 703-779-5617 or visit afciworld.org and click on the “events” tab to pre-register for either event. His book, “Church Behind the Wire,” will be available for free at the events.

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