Neo-Gothic cathedral dedicated in Kazakhstan, once a center of Communist persecution [CWN]

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the 84-year-old dean of the College of Cardinals, as his legate for the dedication of the neo-Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima in …


According to, there are approximately 40,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Karaganda. This includes 14 priests (diocesan & relgious), 12 male religious and 32 female religious.

Karaganda was elevated to a diocese in 1999. Eight years before, it had been set up as an Apostolic Administration. I guess the Church is now doing in well in that part of Kazahkstan, despite the inhuman practices of the Soviet Union.

Four photos of the new cathedral can be seen here:

This looks like a typical cathedral in Western Europe.

What’s so special about this one?

And when was this built?

Are you aware of Kazakhstan’s history in the last century or so and the the supression of various religions at times in the USSR? The Cathedral is built on the site of what was a forced labour camp where prisoners who who were dissidents due to religion and other factors were held. Work on the cathedral started in 2003.

Actually I see from your initial post on the site that you are Ukrainian, you must therefore be well aware of the repression various religions were subject to at times in the USSR.

I am aware to a degree of the suppression of Christianity in Ukraine and Russia. The rest of the countries and their religious practices, mostly Islam, I can only speculate were also suppressed to an extent but my feel is not anywhere close to as severely as Christianity was in Russia and Ukraine where in a single anti-religious campaign, over 100,000 members of the Orthodox church clergy were killed, and many very significant cathedrals such as the Christ the Saviour in Moscow (which took decades to plan and build) were destroyed. About every church in Russia (at the time, numbering ~30,000) was closed, and so many were looted, the clergy, the monks, the nuns, the bishops shot, sentenced to forced labour camps in among the harshest climates on earth under conditions to inhumane to be called simply dismissed as ‘inhumane.’

I’m aware the communists openly murdered people and falsified charges against those they couldn’t openly murder.

But I didn’t have an idea about how far reaching some of these anti-religious campaigns were, and the information out there on them amounts often to summaries (such as body counts) or doesn’t provide enough of an emphasis on the events that took place.

The valuables and lives lost, the specific churches closed even on national levels (not just local like this church) is not the kind of information that can always be so easily found.

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