Kazakhstan has ratified an agreement on cooperation with Vatican, Tengrinews.kz reports.
“Kazakhstan’s inter-confessional accord and positive results in parity relations with Vatican shows the need for enhancement of bilateral cooperation in this area. Before adoption of the new law on religious institutions, implementation of the agreement’s provisions did not require its ratification, as the agreement prevailed over the previous law on freedom of belief and religious institutions adopted by Kazakhstan in 1992. Several provisions of the agreement require harmonization with the national legislation. In this relation, we have submitted a draft law on relations between Kazakhstan and the Holy See, approved by the competent state authorities,” chairman of Kazakhstan Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif said.
The agreement’s goal is to enhance development of relations between Kazakhstan and the Holy See. It is aimed at ensuring observance of the Kazakhstan’s legislation by the Roman-Catholic church’s institutions in Kazakhstan in terms of registration and re-registration of the religious institutions.
The agreement was signed on September 24, 1998 during an official visit of Kazakhstan President to Vatican. According to the Agency’s chairman, Kazakhstan currently houses around 150 thousand of Catholics, as well as 79 Roman-Catholic and 2 Catholic communities.
Last week the draft law was supported by Kazakhstan Majilis (lower chamber of Parliament). However, the deputies had a lot of question to the draft law itself. They made sure it did not contradict with the law on religious institutions adopted last year. Some of them considered some of the draft's provisions a little outdated.
By Aidana Ussupova