Tep Vong

Tep Vong (Khmer: ទេព វង្ស; b. 1932) is a Cambodian Buddhist monk, currently the Great Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia. He was the youngest of seven senior monks re-ordained under Vietnamese supervision in 1979 in order to provide a core leadership group for the re-establishment of the Cambodian sangha, which had been nearly destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. In 1979, Tep Vong gave evidence at the trial in absentia of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, testifying that Pol Pot had personally executed 57 monks, including several family members. He also claimed to have personally been sentenced to four years labor by the Khmer Rouge. Following the trial, we was elected President of the Unified Cambodian Buddhist Sangha. While President of the Unified Sangha, Tep Vong put forth the argument that certain forms of political violence could be condoned by Buddhism. In 1981, Tep Vong was appointed the sangharaja of a unified Cambodian Sangha, temporarily dissolving the division between the Dhammayuttika and Mahanikaya orders that had existed since 1855.

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