ASIA - A support to the life of the small Churches in Central Asia

Friday, 10 December 2021 pontifical mission societies   missionary animation   mission   evangelization  

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church is facing enormous challenges in areas like Central Asia, so every little gesture is of great help in making the work of the missionaries easier. Our work in the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith thrives on the active participation of every Catholic denomination. All the actions that missionaries carry out in Central Asia are supported by the prayers of all the other churches in the world. Even those that appear to be small charitable collections become part of a large network that supports our work", said to Fides Father Tadeusz J. Nowak, OMI, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith (POPF), one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies, which helps and supports the local Churches in mission lands with projects aimed at direct evangelization. Father Novak was one of the speakers at the seminar "The mission of evangelization in Central Asia at the time of Evangelii Gaudium. Context, difficulties, perspectives". In this context, Father Nowak explained how POPF supports missionary work and projects in Central Asia: "One of the areas in which we invest the most is formation: we finance formation programs for missionaries or the communities in which they live. We have built a pilgrimage center in Nursultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, while we have helped build a parish in the city of Almaty. Recently we have expanded our reach to Mongolia and Russia. These are very far-sighted signs for the missionary work of the Church in this part of the world. We want to continue on this path to support the life and growth of these small churches". The last two years, explained the Secretary General, have been difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic: "The closure of churches during lockdown periods made both fundraising and the start of new projects difficult, but we will continue to work together as a family, to support the mission of the Church in Central Asia". In the countries of Central Asia, an area with a Muslim majority in which the Church was rebuilt after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of religious persecution, Catholics are a minority. Today there are 70 parishes in Kazakhstan, five in Uzbekistan, three in Kyrgyzstan and two in Tajikistan. In Turkmenistan, about 250 Catholics belong to the Chapel of the Transfiguration Congregation in the capital, Ashgabat. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 10/12/2021)