Dushanbe (Agenzia Fides) - The Tajik Catholic Church has celebrated 21 years since the establishment of the Missio sui Iuris. This is what Father Pedro Ramiro López reports to Agenzia Fides, a priest of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, at the head of the Missio since 2013, but active in Central Asia since 2004: "Like every year, we wanted to celebrate this important appointment with a Holy Mass in which the faithful of both parishes in Tajikistan took part. We took the opportunity to renew the consecration of the Mission to the Sacred Heart, just as we did last year, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of our presence in this country", writes Fr. Lopez in a note sent to Fides.
The arrival of Catholics in Tajikistan dates back to the 70s: the first faithful were mostly Germans from Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania, deported to the Country during the Soviet Union. Because of the communist regime, for years the communities of Tajikistan were completely isolated from the universal Church. It was Pope Wojtyla who gave the structure to the local Catholic presence with the establishment of the Missio sui iuris, on September 29, 1997, a figure to whom the small Catholic community is very devoted: "The next 21 October, in fact, we will celebrate the memory of St. John Paul II, in the presence of the faithful of the two Tajike parishes", explains Fr. López, who adds details on the next extraordinary commitments: "On November 2, as usual, we will celebrate the commemoration of the dead, with a mass at the cemetery. Then we will begin to prepare ourselves to live the time of Advent and the celebration of Christmas with the right spirit".
The Tajik Church has two parishes, one in the capital Dushanbe and the other in Qurgonteppa. As reported by the priest, today there are about 150 faithful Tajiki, assisted by 3 Argentine priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, 5 Missionary Sisters of Charity and 3 religious of the Institute Servant of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matarà. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 5/10/2018)