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religion

Greek death metal band arrested in Georgia on suspicion of Satanism and terrorism

Members of a Greek death metal band were arrested in Tbilisi after...

Uzbekistan's Morality Guardians Claim Win as Turkish Soap is Dropped from Air

“Today is the last day you will be watching your heroes. […]...

The World's First Democratically Elected Muslim Woman Was from Georgia

The village of Karajala is fairly typical of the dozens of settlements...

Perspectives | In Eastern Ukraine, Civilians Pay

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, now entering its fifth year, has...

Kazakhstan to Spend $840M on Countering Religious Extremism

Security officials in Kazakhstan have reportedly said that they intend to spend...

Kazakhstan Steps Up Campaign Against Ultra-Orthodox Islam

A good Muslim should look the part – legislation now being pushed...

Perspectives | A Guide to Central Asia's Sacred Spaces

Władysław Bukowiński, a Polish priest born in what is now Ukraine, was...

Tajikistan Converts 2,000 Mosques Into Public Facilities

Tajikistan last year converted 2,000 mosques into facilities for general public use...

Academic Freedom in Tajikistan Endangered: What is to be Done?

Academic freedom is imperiled in Tajikistan, and determined action by the international...

Uzbekistan Opens Islamic Studies Academy

The first specialized academy of higher learning in Uzbekistan devoted exclusively to...

Azerbaijan Wrestles with Rising Iranian Influence

Azerbaijan’s government is growing increasingly concerned about what it sees as growing...

Kyrgyzstan: The Quiet Success of an Islamic Woman’s Group

Every week, hundreds of women trickle in and out of Dilyarom Hamrakulova’s...

Trump's Jerusalem Gambit Prompts Opposition From Armenia, Concern From Georgia

United States President Donald Trump’s decision to defy international law and recognize...

Uzbekistan: Imam Proposes Death Penalty for Radical Muslims

A prominent imam in Uzbekistan has caused a stink by taking to...

Georgia’s Baby Boom and the Union of Church and Birthrate

To mark St. George's Day this week, the head of Georgia’s Orthodox...

The Many Languages of Islam in the Caucasus

While visiting Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge towards the end of the second Chechen...

Uzbekistan Allows Call to Prayer on Loudspeakers

The capital of Uzbekistan has for the first time in more than...

Georgia: Athletes, Politicians Back Soccer Player’s Support for LGBT Rights

Georgian soccer player Guram Kashia faces an outcry at home over his...

Islam, the State, and Security in Post-Soviet Central Asia

It is a common assumption that the Bolsheviks, after consolidating their hold...

Uzbekistan: A Breeding Ground for Terrorism?

A mass killing in New York perpetrated by a citizen of Uzbekistan...

South Ossetia Joins Russia in Ban on Jehovah's Witnesses

Breakaway South Ossetia is jumping on board with a Russian crackdown against...

Uzbekistan Releases Another Activist, But Is Optimism Misplaced?

Authorities in Uzbekistan have released a third jailed human rights activist in...

Kyrgyzstan: Court Releases Writer Accused of Offending Muslims

A court in Kyrgyzstan has released a writer previously jailed on charges...

Kyrgyzstan: Surge of Piety Turning Town Into Alcohol-Free Zone

There was a time when Aravan, a bazaar town in a dusty...

Georgia’s British Candidate

Georgia’s upcoming local elections would be quite local, indeed, were it not...

Kyrgyzstan: Fear of Myanmar Fury Disrupts Football

Kyrgyzstan has cited the possibility of public unrest over unfolding developments in...

Kyrgyzstan: Biometric IDs Fuel Debate About Ethnicity

Kyrgyzstan’s government is distributing biometric ID cards with embedded microchips to its...

With Islamic Games Over, Baku Tears Down Mosque

When protesters tried to stop the demolition of a Baku mosque in...

Jehovah’s Witness Delegation Visits Uzbekistan

A international delegation of representatives from the Jehovah’s Witness traveled to Uzbekistan...

Kyrgyzstan: Kneeling Incident Poses Challenge for Higher Education Initiative

An initiative to expand higher education opportunities in Central Asia is experiencing...

Kazakhstan: Law on Religious Clothing in the Works

The government in Kazakhstan looks set to intensify its war on what...

On the Question of Religious Freedom in Azerbaijan

By Hikmat Hajiyev, Head of Press Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the...

As Islamic Games Open, Azerbaijan Wrestles With Muslim Identity

With an opening ceremony rich in pageantry, Azerbaijan welcomed athletes and tourists...

Russia: Petersburg Metro Blast Sets Off Hunt for Central Asian Terrorists

There is work under way to lay down new water pipes near...

Azerbaijan: Creationist Textbooks Stir Controversy, Public Action

“And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in...

Georgia: Five-Year-Old Prince Prepares to Reign

Like many doting parents, five-year-old Giorgi’s post cute pictures of him on...

Uzbekistan: Is Hike in Mecca Pilgrimage Quota Another Sign of Thaw?

Later this month, groups of Muslim pilgrims from Uzbekistan will begin making...

Kazakhstan: Security Services Waging War on Extremists

Kazakhstan’s security services say they have rounded up 33 members of a...

Xinjiang: Uighurs Grapple with Travel Restrictions

Ethnic Turkic-speaking Uighurs in China have long faced restrictions relating mainly to...

Eurasia and the Appeal of Illiberalism

Brexit, a Trump presidency and populist and pro-Russian leaders coming to power...

Azerbaijan: Papal PR Pays Off

At first glance, Azerbaijan, a predominantly Shia Muslim state, seems an unlikely...

Azerbaijan: Dubbing Critics as “Islamic Extremists”

Authorities in Azerbaijan are trying to erase the line between legitimate dissent...

Kazakhstan: Rearranging Chairs on the Ship Astana

The latest shakeup of the government by Kazakhstan’s president looks seismic at...

Uzbekistan: Karimov’s Stature Grows After Death

Uzbekistan’s long-serving leader may be dead, but the government is intent on...

Armenia: Pope Francis Stirs Hopes for Peace, Prosperity

Whether atheist, Catholic or Armenian Apostolic, Armenians on June 24 heartily welcomed...

Armenia: Papal Visit to Foster “Christian Solidarity”

The Rev. Grigor Mkrtchian is dealing with the biggest logistical challenge of...

Kazakhstan: At Least 10 Killed in Unrest Blamed on Extremists

Authorities in Kazakhstan said at least 10 people were killed on June...

Georgia: How Closely Should the State Embrace the Church?

Twenty-five years after regaining its sovereignty, the South Caucasus country of Georgia...

Time to Get Tough on Tajikistan’s Human Rights Crisis

The news came on May 11. Tajik prosecutors demanded life sentences for...

Georgia: A “Family” Gathering Commemorates an Anti-Gay Riot

An anti-LGBTQ conference provides ecumenical and political unity among American, Georgian and...

Kazakhstan Unveils Plan To End All Wars; Details To Come

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, never shy about thrusting his once-obscure country on...

Karabakh Fighting Highlights Azerbaijan's New Israeli Weapons

The recent surge of violence in Nagorno Karabakh has brought attention to...

Tajikistan: Prayer Leaders Detained in Latest Anti-Islam Offensive

For the first time in Tajikistan, mosque prayer leaders have been arraigned...

Russia Seeks Scapegoats After Nanny Arrested with Child’s Severed Head

MOSCOW -- The horror of a veiled woman in black holding up...

Tajikistan: Prayer Rooms Targeted for Demolition

In authorities’ ongoing efforts to restrict private expressions of religious devotion in...

Georgia Scraps "Blasphemy Bill"

Georgia has dropped a proposed anti-blasphemy bill ardently opposed by freedom-of-speech activists....

Georgia Divided over “Blasphemy Bill”

Georgia has moved ahead with plans to make religious irreverence punishable by...

Tajikistan's First Lady Set to Become First Lady of Muslims

While never passing on an opportunity to bash strict Muslims, Tajikistan’s leaders...

Tajikistan: Age Limit for Hajj Increased

Fresh from President Emomali Rahmon’s visit to Mecca, the government in Tajikistan...

Terror Crackdown in the South Caucasus

As the South Caucasus starts a roundup of suspected Syria-linked terrorists, Azerbaijan,...

As Tajikistan Limits Islam, Does It Risk Destabilization?

Nabijon spends nearly 10 hours a day inside his one-room barbershop in...

Kyrgyz Religion Expert Gets Knifed, Cries Islamic State

A self-styled expert on religious matters in Kyrgyzstan with a penchant for...

Armenia: Church, State Joining Forces Against Western Religious Groups?

As Armenia readies for a controversial December 6 referendum, public attention has...

Georgia Investigates Alleged ISIS Blog

A Georgian-language blog that claims to represent Islamic State terrorists is spreading...

Examining Kazakhstan’s Religious Contradiction

Kazakhstan has used a variety of means to promote itself as a...

Examining the Religious Dimension of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The Moscow Patriarchate’s meddling in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is backfiring, as its...

Turkey: Is Restitution of Armenian Property Sign of Greater Public Tolerance?

A campaign for the restitution of an historic Armenian orphanage in Istanbul...

Report Details Decline of Church-State Separation in Orthodox States

A report published October 28 by a London-based think tank analyzes efforts...

Banished Tibetan Lama Says He Was Warned by Russian Authorities

A prominent Tibetan lama who has been ordered out of Russia says...

Tajikistan: Friday Prayers Ban for Government Workers

In their intent to marginalize the role of Islam in public life,...

Kazakhstan: Campaigners Urge Nazarbayev to Veto NGO Law

Legislation approved last month by Kazakhstan’s parliament is creating onerous rules on...

Uzbekistan: US Embassy Targeted by Firebombs

The United States diplomatic mission in Uzbekistan has been targeted in a...

Armenia: Mixing Faith and Philanthropy

Some mega-millionaire philanthropists fund universities and hospitals, while others opt to fund...

Uzbekistan Bans Children From Mosques on Eid

TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan's government has banned people under the age of 18...

Azerbaijan: Can Segregated Beaches Be “Positive Discrimination”?

The contrast between the Azerbaijani government’s secular orientation and the country’s increasingly...

Uzbekistan Says Tashkent Bomb Blast Was Readiness Test

A bomb exploded in Tashkent, close to the city’s main bazaar, in...

Turkmenistan Narrows Options for Foreign Academics

Turkmenistan’s micro-managing leader is a stickler for the facts. Only as long...

Azerbaijan: Shorts Spark Long Public Debate

The cultural fault line that seems to divide the West and many...

Kyrgyzstan: Trial Marks Escalation in Religious Crackdown

Squeezed onto narrow benches in an airless courtroom in a provincial town...

Azerbaijan: More Shorts for the People

On August 2, in the capital, Baku, young Azerbaijani men and women...

Kyrgyzstan: Authorities Present Their Case for Claimed IS Cell

When a special forces unit began storming alleged terrorists holed up in...

U.S. Rights Report Slams IS Militants, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Among Others

In a new report, the U.S. State Department strongly criticizes Islamic State...

Tajikistan Drives Top Opposition Leader Into Exile

The leader of Tajikistan’s main genuine opposition party has told EurasiaNet.org that...

UN Envoy Urges Kazakhstan To Lift Curbs on Civil Liberties

Astana places severe restrictions on civil liberties, including freedom of expression, conscience,...

UN Chief Calls on Central Asia’s Autocrats to Improve Human Rights

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has finished a weeklong tour of the...

Turkey: Parliamentary Elections Give Ethnic Armenians Political Voice

The results of Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections denied a majority to...

Kyrgyzstan Testing Clerics’ Knowledge of Islam

When Ismoil told his parents that he wanted to attend one of...

Central Asia: Mismanaging Religion

When it comes to religious affairs in Central Asia, authorities are relying...

Turkey’s Armenians Rediscover Their Identity

Five years ago, 53-year-old freelance columnist Miran Pirgiç, a resident of the...

Kyrgyzstan: Islamic Kindergartens Fill Growing Demand

Feruza opened the green door of an unmarked two-story house on the...

Georgia’s ISIS Problem: How to Stop Would-Be Jihadists?

The continued departure of young men for jihad in Syria is raising...

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev Goes to Mecca

Yes, you read that right....

Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek Hopes it Has Passed Peak Measles

In his office, Ozbek Azhi Chotonov, head of the Bishkek-based Islamic think...

Kazakhstan: Early Presidential Vote Designed to Defuse Instability Fears?

As Kazakhstan heads for a snap presidential election, strongman leader Nursultan Nazarbayev...

Tajikistan’s Clergy Urges Support for President’s Party in Weekend Vote

Tajikistan’s authoritarian government has enlisted the support of the state-appointed clergy ahead...

U.S. Jewish Groups Back Azerbaijan Despite Rights Concerns

WASHINGTON -- Azerbaijan has long lauded its relations with pro-Israeli groups that...

Kyrgyz Anti-Vaxxers Leave Health In God's Hands

All but declared dead a few years ago, measles is back in...

Syria Drawing Increasing Numbers of Central Asian Fighters – Report

Central Asian governments are failing to address problems posed by violent radicalization,...

Kyiv Making Gains in Religious Dimension of the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to use religion to advance an...

Puncturing The Myths Of Radical Islam In Central Asia

The notion that authoritarian governments and their enablers abroad cynically exaggerate the...