The Chechen Republic is part of the Russian Federation, located in the northern Caucasus Mountains. Islam is the dominant religion of Chechnya, claiming more than 94% of the 1.2 million population. Chechens are Sunnī Muslims following the traditions of the Khanaphi and Shaphii Mazkhabs schools of thought. At the same time, Chechen religious practices are also influenced by Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. The Sufi Tarikats (“orders”) of Kadiria and Nakshbandia have the most influence in the country. These Tarikats are further divided into some 30 religious groups or Virds (brotherhoods, communities). Besides Muslims, there are some small groups of Christians in Chechnya affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church and evangelical Protestant Baptists.

Before the arrival of Islam, Chechens observed paganism. The early spread of ...

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