Mass of Pope Francis in Kazakhstan. Photo: Vatican Media

Kazakhstan: parliament votes on law simplifying permanent residence for Catholic priests

This new law is the result of an agreement signed between Kazakhstan and the Vatican in 2022 during the visit of Pope Francis to the country.

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(ZENIT News / Astana, 05.12.2023).- The Mazhilis, Kazakhstan’s lower house of parliament, has adopted on may 10 a law that simplifies the procedure for Catholic priests to obtain permanent residence in the country. Previously, priests had to show proof of financial stability, with a required bank balance of 4.5 million tenge or over $10,000. However, this requirement has now been eliminated, allowing priests to come to the country without the financial burden. The requirement for permanent residence confirmation has also been waived. Now, a written commitment from the Catholic Church is sufficient to obtain a permanent residence permit.

This new law is a result of an agreement signed between Kazakhstan and the Vatican last year during Pope Francis’ visit to Kazakhstan. President Tokaev and the Pope agreed to strengthen interfaith harmony and increase Kazakhstan’s international prestige. This agreement serves as an important step towards achieving religious harmony and tolerance in the country. The simplified procedure for obtaining permanent residence permits for Catholic priests will also make it easier for them to serve in the church and contribute to the spiritual development of the country.

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