Archd., 1; Dioc., 1; a.a., 1; abp., 1; bp., 3; parishes, 40; priests, 63 (36 dioc., 27 rel.); sem., 14; bros., 8;srs., 66; bap., 1,198; Caths., 178,000 (1.2%); tot. pop.,14,830,000.
Independent republic (1991); formerly part of USSR; capital, Astana. About 47 percent of the population is Muslim, and about 44 percent is Orthodox. The Catholic population is mainly of German, Polish and Ukraine origin, descendants of those deported during the Stalin regime. A Latin-rite apostolic administration was established in 1991. In 1998, the Vatican and the Kazkh government signed an agreement guaranteeing the Church legal rights. Diocesan structure was established in 1999, and the Vatican created the first archdiocese and diocese in 2003. Pope John Paul II visited the country in 2001, saying he believed the post-communist era offered an evangelizing opportunity for the Catholic Church.
(The above exert comes from Our Sunday Visitor's 2004 Catholic Almanac and is used on this web site with the publisher's permission.)