Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country in central Asia, founded in 840 C.E. The nation became part of the Mongol Empire in the 12th century, and was absorbed into the Soviet Union in the early 20th century. It is a mountainous region bordered by China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. During the fall of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan became an independent, democratic republic. However, independence did not bring stability, as the country has suffered from political, cultural, and economic tumult. The government is secular, but the population is 75 percent Muslim and 20 percent Russian Orthodox.

As fundamentalism spread in the area, tensions increased over asserting Islamic law. Although Kyrgyzstan received financial backing from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the country has suffered economic hard ...

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