With a national territory of more than 2.7 million square kilometres, Kazakhstan is larger than a quarter of the USA. At the same time, however, the country only has 18 million inhabitants. The former Soviet republic has been independent since 1991. Catholics form a minority of only 300,000 believers here. In order to survive economically, the Catholic community is dependent on help from abroad. ACN mainly helps religious sisters in Kazakhstan with existential help.
Kazakhstan is a fine example of outstanding cooperation between Catholic and Orthodox Christians; there are joint initiatives and a constructive dialogue. Religious sisters do important work in the Church. They hold catechesis sessions for children, young people and adults, prepare them to receive the sacraments, organise days of reflection, holiday camps and youth meetings, and care for the old, the sick, the lonely and the needy.
Our aid to religious sisters increased during the pandemic, e.g. for a children’s home in Kapshagay in the south-eastern part of the country. Here, religious sisters look after 50orphans and children from the most difficult family backgrounds. Under the care of the religious sisters, the children often become acquainted with safety, care and a regular life for the first time.
Without help from abroad, the Church in Kazakhstan could hardly survive.
We supported the religious sisters with an extra coronavirus grant so that they could purchase the necessary protective and hygiene materials during the pandemic. ACN also supports spiritual retreats designed to help priests and religious recharge their batteries, and promotes the formation of future priests.