With an area of more than 225,000 square miles, the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy, based in the Kazakhstan capital of Nursultan, is larger than all of Spain. But Catholics are only a small minority in Kazakhstan, and given the country's size, pastoral care and outreach are difficult. Forty priests serve the diocese, assisted by about 70 religious sisters of various congregations. The sisters offer religious instruction, care for those in need, and organize parish events, like retreat days, holiday camps, and youth meetings.
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.