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Religion in Kazakhstan

Population

In 2019, Kazakhstan had a population density of 7 residents per km2. 58 percent of the population live in cities, of which Alma-Ata is the largest with 1.8 million residents (2018). Other major cities are Nur-Sultan (1 million) and Tjimkent (951,600).

Religions of Kazakhstan

In 2006, it was estimated that 59 percent were Kazakhs, while 26 percent were Russians, just over 3 percent Ukrainians and 1.4 percent German kittens. The other more than 10 percent are divided into Tatars, Uz cups, Belarusians, Uighurs and others. For the ethnography of Kazakhstan, see further Kazakhs.

The move of Slavic groups to Kazakhstan has been significant since the 1930s, and not least in connection with major new breeding programs during the 1950s and 60s. Together with the purges directed against the Kazakhs during Stalin's time, this has greatly influenced the ethnic composition of the population. Since independence, in particular, Russians and Germans have left the country.

Language

Official language is Kazakh. Russian also has official status. More than half of the population has Kazakh as their mother tongue. Other major languages are Ukrainian, German, Tatar, Uighur and Uzbek. Russian, Ukrainian and German are spoken mainly in the newly cultivated regions of northern Kazakhstan, while Kazakhs are spoken in central and southern Kazakhstan. Uyghurs are widespread in the southeast, in the border area with China.

Religion

According to Countryaah data, independent Kazakhstan is a secular state with a constitution that guarantees religious freedom. The majority population is traditionally Sunni Muslims (47%), but the country is characterized by a widespread religious spread, especially in the cities. With the help of organizations and money from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, a Muslim revitalization is underway. In recent years, a large number of mosques and other religious institutions have been built in Kazakhstan. Islamic groups have been appointed to stand behind various acts of violence, and the authorities have banned the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization from operating in the country. Sufiordnar has historically played an important role, and in the city of Turkestan there is a mausoleum from the late 1300s after the order founder Khoja Ahmad Yasawi.

Kazakhstan Population

The Jewish group has decreased due to emigration and amounts to just under 1% (2008). Russian Orthodox is estimated to be 44% of the population. In addition, there are smaller groups of Baptists, Catholics and Presbyterians. There are also small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites, and Mormons.

Foreign missionaries operate in the country, but in 2008 a number of representatives of various organizations were expelled. The authorities often emphasize Kazakhstan's long tradition of interreligious tolerance. At the same time, the official tolerance of non-traditional religions that appeal to youth has diminished.

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