The only three Catholic priests in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan has five million inhabitants, 90 percent of whom are Muslim. “The small Catholic community is composed of 200 faithful and interacts daily with Christians of other denominations and Muslim families.” These are the words of Fr. Andrzej Madej, a Polish priest from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and leader of the mission in Turkmenistan, where he lives with other members of the congregation – Fr. Rafal Chilimoniuk and Fr. Pawl Szlacheta.

“Each day, we dedicate an hour to prayer, to the Eucharist celebration, and we visit families not only of the Catholic faith,” Fr. Madej says. “Proclaiming Christ in Turkmenistan means leaving the door to our home open, not only to issues involving faith, but also other human interaction that we’re creating.” “At the moment, there are no other religious congregations or priests; right now, we are the only ones – three priests and missionaries, the Catholic Church’s only presence in Turkmenistan.”

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