Archon News

Kyrgyzstan: Police fine nun for alleged evangelization

90% of the Kyrgyz population is Muslim. 7% are Christian, including 3% who are Russian Orthodox.

“Kyrgyz police fine Catholic nun for alleged evangelization,” UCA News, March 29, 2023:

Police and security officials at Talas town in northwestern Kyrgyzstan entered a Catholic Church during Sunday mass and fined a Slovakian missionary nun for allegedly violating the country’s law by evangelizing among local residents without permission.

The officials visited St. Nicholas Church in Talas on March 26 and imposed a fine on Sister Daniela Činčilova from the School Sisters of St. Francis Congregation, Fides news agency reported on March 28.

The nun was accused of violating Article 142 of the Criminal Code of the Muslim-majority nation which deals with religious freedom and religious organizations.

The investigators reportedly said Sister Činčilova committed an offense by spreading Roman Catholicism among the residents of Talas without the authorization of the State Commission for Religious Affairs.

A Church official says the action resulted from “ignorance and misunderstanding.”

“The decision to fine Sister Daniela was certainly taken out of ignorance on the part of the local personnel involved in the operation since the nun did not violate the regulations in force in Kirghizstan,” Jesuit brother Damian Wojciechowski, director of the curia of the Apostolic Administration of Kyrgyzstan.

The tiny Catholic Church in the country with several thousand members operates as a sui juris (independent) mission directly under the Vatican.

Wojciechowski said the nun was reading from Bible, but neither preaching nor officiating the liturgy, two actions foreign citizens can only perform after obtaining a special certificate from the government.

“We have already taken steps to lodge an appeal in court and we are confident that the fine can be canceled since we have always acted in accordance with the country’s existing laws,” he said.

A central Asian nation and a former Soviet republic, about 90 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s estimated 6.8 population is Muslim, seven percent Christian and about three percent do not follow any religion, according to official data….

Subscribe to our mailing list

More Posts

Share