Kazakhstan is vast, covering an area of more than one million square miles, which is more than a quarter of the United States. A former Soviet republic, it has been an independent state since 1991. Its population of 18 million is 70 percent Muslim. 25 percent are Christians, most of whom belong to the Russian Orthodox Church.
More and more Christians are leaving the Middle East. This exodus is affecting not only Syria and Iraq, but also Lebanon. In the quite recent past, this country was the only country of the Middle East with a Christian majority in the population, but now Christians are an ever shrinking minority.
In Northeast India, the Catholic Church is still relatively young. In 2016, she celebrated 120 years of ministry here, but in many parts of this region, Catholic missionaries were only able to enter during the second half of the 20th century. This is an isolated and underdeveloped area, marked by political unrest and conflicts, by deep poverty and many other problems. But the Church here is very much alive and vital; now there are almost 2 million Catholics in the region, while the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing.