Georgia is primarily an Orthodox Christian country. Muslim populations are located in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Ajaria. In the 4th century AD Christianity briefly enjoyed the status of official religion, but successive conquests by Mongols, Turks, and Persians left Georgia with a complex and unsettled ethnic and religious heritage.
Statistics available after the declaration of Georgian independence in 1991 reveal that the majority of the population is Christian. According to the most recent estimates (2002), about 70% of the population is Christian Orthodox, primarily Georgian Orthodox and Russian Orthodox. There are also significant Muslim populations in various ethnic groups (5%), as well as an Armenian Apostolic community. Roman Catholicism and Judaism are also represented in the country. A number of German communities are Lutheran and there is a small number of native Kurdish Yezidis. Other Christian denominations, which are very small, include Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, The New Apostolic Church, and Assemblies of God. There are also small groups of Baha'is and Hare Krishnas.