Religion in Turkmenistan
The most wide spread religions in Turkmenistan were Zoroastrism, Buddhism, Christianity like in other countries of Central Asia. Since the Arabian conquest in 7-8th centuries Islam has been the dominant 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 churches along with a number of other religious faiths.