Kazakhstan is found in the center of western Asia. Kazakhstan borders Russia to the north; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan to the south; and China to the east. Most of the country is in Asia, but a corner of it lies in Europe.
Population: 17 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Kazakh (63.1%), Russian (23.7%), Uzbek (2.8%), Ukrainian (2.1%), Uighur (1.4%), Tatar (1.3%), German (1.1%), other (4.5%)
Languages: Kazakh, Russian
Religions: Muslim (70.2%), Christian (26.2%) (Russian Orthodox 23.9%, other Christian 2.3%), Buddhist (0.1%), atheist (2.8%), other and unspecified (0.7%)
KAZAKHSTANIS IN TORONTO
In Canada: 2,270
In the GTA: 495
Islam became popular in Kazakhstan in the late 1700s, but ancient animist beliefs were also widespread until the mid-1800s. All religion was suppressed under Communism, and today only recognized religious groups are allowed to practice freely. The majority of the population is Muslim. Traditional Islam is on the rise, and strict religious laws have been put in place to combat radical Islam. Muslim (and Christian, and other religious groups) that do not have a large enough membership are often denied registration, and unregistered groups are harassed and fined by the government. The living standard in Kazakhstan is better than it is in most countries, and Kazakhstan boasts a 99.5% literacy rate.
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