As well as in other countries of the Central Asia the most wide spread religions of Turkmenistan were Zoroastrism, Buddhism, Christianity. Since the 7th-8th century Arabian conquest Islam has been the dominating religion.
Today the overwhelming majority of believers in Turkmenistan are Moslems-Sunnites of Khanifit branch. A small part of local population represented by the natives of Iran is Moslems-Shiites. A big role in Turkmen society has been played by Sufism - a mystical branch of Muslim dogma which is distinguished by the combination of metaphysics and ascetical practice, the doctrine about gradual approach to the knowledge of the God through mystical love. Sufism greatly influenced literature, national arts and even political life of indigenes.
In the 20th century a big population community of European origin was formed. They are orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Lutherans. The state hosts orthodox Christian and Catholic church es along with a number of other religious faiths.