Here are 7 Muslim-majority Republics within Russia you NEVER knew before!

Several of Russian Republics consist of ethnic groups that mainly adhere to the Islamic faith.

Muslims pray outside the Cathedral Mosque in the Russian capital of Moscow.

Contrary to what many people believe, Russia is not a single nation.

It is a federation consisting of 85 federal subjects.

Out of these, 22 federal subjects are considered “Republics.”

These Republics, historically consisting of non-Russian ethnic groups, enjoy autonomy and operate as nation-states.

Interestingly, several of these Republics consist of ethnic groups that mainly adhere to the Islamic faith!

Let’s learn a little about seven of the 22 Russian Republics that are primarily Muslim.

Dagestan

Dagestan. (Felix Light / MT)

The Republic of Dagestan is situated on the Caspian Sea in the North Caucasus of Eastern Europe.

This mountainous nation-state is mainly home to the Northeast Caucasians, such as Avars, Dargins, Lezgins, Laks, Kumyks, and others.

Meanwhile, Turkic ethnic groups also make up a significant minority in the region.

Dagestani men in traditional clothes.

According to a 2012 survey, around 83% of the Dagestanis adhere to Islam.

Out of this, most of the Dagestanis follow the Shafi’i school of Sunni Islam.

Meanwhile, followers of Shia Islam (mainly Azeris in the coastal city of Derbent) and Salafism can also be found in the region.

Fun Fact: Dagestan is home to the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov!

The Grand Mosque in Makhachkala, Dagestan.

Tatarstan

Kazan, the capital city of Tatarstan. (Gelio Степанов Слава)

The Republic of Tatarstan is located in Eastern Europe and is considered to be the first Muslim state within the boundaries of modern-day Russia.

According to a study, around 53% of Tatarstan’s population considers itself to be Muslim.

It is pertinent to note that the Tatar Turks make up the dominant ethnic group in the region.

Kul Sharif Mosque, Kazan, Tatarstan.

Chechnya

Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.

The Chechen Republic is situated in the North Caucasus in Eastern Europe, close to the Caspian Sea.

The ethnic Chechens make up the dominant ethnic group of this region.

According to a 2010 Grozny poll survey, a whopping 95% of the region’s population considers themselves to be Muslims.

Chechen Muslims praying in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. (Grozny-inform/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Bashkortostan

The mountains of Bashkortostan.

The Republic of Bashkortostan is located between the Volga and the Ural Mountains in Eastern Europe.

The region is mostly inhabited by ethnic Russians, Bashkirs, and Volga Tatars.

According to a 2012 Sreda survey, around 58% of Bashkortostan’s population considers themselves to be Muslim.

Out of this, most of the region’s population follows the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam.

Sufiya Mosque in Salavat, Bashkortostan. (Tsibin Konstantin)

Ingushetia

Ingushetia.

The Republic of Ingushetia is located in the North Caucasus of Eastern Europe. The ethnic Ingush make up the dominant group in the region.

Ingushetia is considered one of the most religious regions of Russia, with 96% of its population adhering to the Islamic faith.

Out of this, most of the region’s population follows the Shafi’i school of Sunni Islam.

Ingush Muslims praying in Magas, the capital of Ingushetia. (TASS)

Karachay-Cherkessia

Wallpaper mountains, Russia, Karachay-Cherkessia, photographer Maxim Evdokimov images for desktop, section пейзажи - download
Karachay-Cherkessia. (Maxim Evdokimov)

The Karachay-Cherkessia Republic is located in the North Caucasus. The region mainly consists of Karachays, Cherkess, Abazins, and ethnic Russians.

According to a 2012 survey, around 64% of Karachay-Cherkessia’s population adheres to Islam.

The Cathedral Mosque in Karachay-Cherkessia.

Kabardino-Balkaria

Kabardino-Balkaria.

The Kabardino-Balkarian Republic is located in the North Caucasus. The Kabardins, Balkars, and Russians make up the dominant ethnic groups in the regions.

According to a 2012 survey, more than 70% of the region’s population adheres to Islam.


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