Religion in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a multi-ethnic nation of citizens of diverse faiths who coexist peacefully. Today, the population of Kyrgyzstan is roughly 83% of Sunni Muslims, followed by Christians of 15%. It is possible to split the citizens of Christians into Russians, Orthodox and Germans, Lutherans and certain Catholics. The Buddhist or Jewish community is a small number.
Religious organisations will act with relative liberty in Kyrgyzstan. In 2009, a Bill called ‘On Freedom of Religion and Religious Organizations in the Republic of Kyrgyz’ was passed, limiting mission work and forcing 200 members to be able to register religious groups. The State Religious Relations Committee controls the number and operation of religious organizations.
The religion in Kyrgyzstan is currently thriving and curiosity is rising since the end of compulsory atheism in the Soviet Union. In Soviet times there were only 39 mosques and 25 orthodox churches and many religious constructions have been used for other purposes (such as movie theaters, museums, or warehouses). There were 1,338 mosques, 20 churches and 200 Christian prayer rooms in the 2000s. Every year, for the Hajj, Kyrgyzstan has the right, and these places appear to fill up, to send 4,585 pilgrims to Saudis.
There are also religious education centres, mostly Muslims and Christians. There are ten Muslim and one Christian university institutes, plus sixty-two Muslim and seventeen Christian college buildings. The Committee for Religious Affairs regulates these agencies.Without any official state religion, Kyrgyzstan is a secular democracy. The Constitution guarantees freedom of choice or practice of any religion (or not of practice).