Nowadays, Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim country, although Islam came late to the country. Kyrgyz Islam follows the rules of Sunnite Islam. The second religion in the country is Russian orthodox. This nomadic country, like Mongolia, has made way for modern religions, all the while keeping traces of traditions like shamanism and zoroastrianism.
Religions of Kyrgyzstan
The country counts around 65% of Muslims, from which a majority are of Uzbek ethnicity. There are also around 25% of orthodox.
Whichever the religion though, shamanism traditions still have an important place in the life of the Kyrgyz population.
Since the independence of the country in 1991, new religions have also found their place in Kyrgyzstan, for example Catholicism, Protestantism or the Bahai’ Faith.
Islam in Kyrgyzstan
Islam appeared in Kyrgyzstan between the 7th and 12th centuries. From the 17th century on, a second vague of islamization occurred.
However, some Kyrgyz populations decided to maintain their tribal cults.
Sunnite Islam believes in absolute monotheism, and is based on the Koran. This is the main religion in the country. It is mostly spread in the south of Kyrgyzstan, due to its proximity with the Middle East.
However, Kyrgyzstan is officially a secular state.