Uzbekistan - Religions



Freedom of religion is guaranteed under the constitution of 1992, adopted after independence, and there is a specific provision prohibiting the establishment of any state religion. Ethnic Uzbeks are primarily adherents of the Hanafi sect of Sunni Islam, but the Wahhabi sect has flourished as well in recent years. Muslims account for about 88% of the population; Eastern Orthodox Christians for 9%; and others for 3%. In 2002 Uzbekistan had a significant Jewish population of some 30,000 Ashkenazi and Bukharan Jews, primarily in the cities of Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand. Almost 70,000 Jews have emigrated to Israel or the US since independence. Other minority religions include small communities of Korean Christians, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Seventh-Day Adventists, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, Buddhists, Baha'is, and Hare Krishnas.

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