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Monday, December 5, 2016
Charity prints Bible in 123rd language
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¬†On the eve of the Pope's visit to Kazakhstan, Aid to the Church in Need has brought out their Child's Bible in its 123rd language: Kazakh. An initial print run of 10,000 copies will be distributed among the three apostolic administrations in Kazakhstan - Almaty, Astana and Atyrau, as well as to the nunciature in the capital, Astana. The publication and distribution of this little Bible, which began in 1979, has now developed into the largest project ever undertaken by the charity. Over 37 million copies in different languages have been distributed worldwide. The illustrations are by the Spanish nun Miren-Sorne Gomez, who worked for years in the slums of Lima, where she used her drawing skills as a means of communication in catechetical and literacy work with children. The ethnic Kazakhs, who make up 45 per cent of the population of Kazakhstan, are mainly Sunnite Muslims. Apart from the Uzbeks and Tartars, the other ethnic groups (Russians, Ukrainians, Germans), broadly profess Christianity, including some 300,000 who are Catholic. Around 40 per cent of the country's approximately 15 million inhabitants speak the Kazakh language. Since Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, Aid to the Church in Need has supported the church there with many projects. These have included the provision of vehicles for pastoral work, the construction of churches and parish centres, the training of seminarians, and basic support for the Carmelite Sisters in Karaganda. In all, over the past six years, the charity has given approximately £1,700,000 in aid to the Catholic church in Kazakhstan.
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