04/12/2018, 17.44
TURKMENISTAN
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Turkmenistan’s Catholics celebrated Easter with a concert, traditional dances and a 'small' banquet

About 100 people took part in the Easter vigil in a country where Catholics number around 200. On Easter Sunday, children and teens performed two plays, followed by an accordion concert.

Ashgabat (AsiaNews) – Turkmenistan’s small Catholic community celebrated Easter Vigil in Ashgabat from 10 pm to 1 am with traditional Turkmen dances and a small agape (banquet), this according to Fr Andrzej Madej, a Polish priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), superior of the missio sui juris to the country.

The Catholic community in the former Soviet Republic numbers 200 members with three priests out of a population of almost 5.7 million.

"Fr Piotr Bielewicz of the Oblates, from Belarus, came to visit us for this celebration,” Fr Madej said. "On Easter night we were about 100. Four women and two girls solemnly renewed their baptismal pledge, confessed for the first time and made their First Communion."

Easter Sunday Mass was celebrated in Russian at noon and in English in the evening.

"After the Eucharist of the noon Mass, two small religious-themed plays were performed by children and young people. This was followed, per tradition, by an accordion concert."

"Every day during the Easter Octave, many people attended Holy Mass," said a happy Fr Madej. "Christ is risen! Alleluia!"

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