Christianity in Kazakhstan

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Christianity in Kazakhstan is the second most practiced religion after Islam. Over one-quarter of the population of Kazakhstan identifies as Christian. The majority of Christian citizens are Russians, including Ukrainians and Belarusians, who belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. About 1.5 percent of the population is ethnically German, most of whom follow Roman Catholicism or Lutheranism. There are also many Presbyterians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists and Pentecostals.[1][2] Methodists, Mennonites, and Mormons have also registered churches with the government.[1]

There are more Protestant congregations, 93 "nontraditional" Protestant Christian churches registered with the Kazakh government from 2006 to 2007. There are 83 Roman Catholic churches in Kazakhstan.[1] According to a 2009 national census 26% of Kazakhstan's population is Christian.[3] There are two Baptist organizations in Kazakhstan; the Council of Churches of Evangelical Christians and Baptists, with 1,000 members,[citation needed] and the Baptist Union of Kazakhstan, with 10,000 members.[citation needed] 198 churches affiliated with the Baptist Union registered with the government.[1]

Demographics[edit]

Orthodox prayers in Zenkov cathedral. Almaty.

According to the 2009 Census, there were 4,214,232 Christians in Kazakhstan. Their ethnic affiliation is as follows:[4]

  • Russian - 3,476,748 (91.6% of the ethnic Russians)
  • Ukrainian - 302,199 (90.7% of Ukrainians)
  • German - 145,556 (81.6%)
  • Belarussian - 59,936 (90.2%)
  • Korean - 49,543 (49.4%)
  • Kazakh - 39,172 (0.4%)
  • Polish - 30,675 (90.1%)
  • Tatar - 20,913 (10.2%)
  • Azeri - 2,139 (2.5%)
  • Uzbeki - 1,794 (0.4%)
  • Uighuri - 1,142 (0.5%)
  • Chechen - 940 (3.0%)
  • Tadzhik - 331 (0.9%)
  • Turk - 290 (0.3%)
  • Kyrgyz - 206 (0.9%)
  • Kurd - 203 (0.5%)
  • Dungan - 191 (0.4%)
  • Other minorities - 82,254 (52.3%)

History[edit]

Main article:
Main article: Naimans § Religion

Before conquest of Genghis Khan there used to be some Nestorians.

Map from a 1903 Polish encyclopedia showing the Naiman people living north of Lake Balkhash in eastern Kazakhstan

By the time they were conquered by Genghis Khan most of the Naimans were Christians. They remained so after the Mongol conquest and were among the second wave of Christians to enter China with Kublai Khan.[5] Meanwhile, the Naimans who settled in Western Khanates of Mongol "Empire" all eventually converted to Islam.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d International Religious Freedom Report 2008 U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan
  2. ^ Kazakhstan CIA The World Factbook
  3. ^ "Итоги национальной переписи населения 2009 года (Summary of the 2009 national census)" (in Russian). Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  4. ^ http://www.stat.kz/p_perepis/Documents/%D0%9D%D0%B0%D1%86%20%D1%81%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%B2.rar
  5. ^ Cary-Elwes, Columba. China and the Cross. (New York: P. J. Kennedy and Sons, 1956) p. 37

External links[edit]