Starting with the 2005 Tulip revolution, a bloodless overthrow of the communist regime, Kyrgyzstan’s democratically elected government is unique in the Central Asia region. Kyrgyzstan is predominantly Muslim – mainly folk Islam in the countryside – but there is increasing radicalisation, with more than 330 Kyrgyz citizens known to have travelled to join the Islamic State group. About 4 per cent of the population is Russian Orthodox, despite large-scale emigration, and there are a growing number of Christian converts from a Muslim background, who face pressure from family, friends and community. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but proposed new laws impose stringent registration rules, while all religious literature must be approved.

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Kyrgyzstan church set on fire

The church in Kajisay, Kyrgyzstan, was set on fire (World Watch Monitor)

A Baptist community in eastern Kyrgyzstan fears for its safety after unknown attackers set its church building on fire. The damage to the church has forced its 40 Kyrgyz and Russian members to start searching for a new place of worship, while wondering if there will be a further attack. […]

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