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News

02-02-2012

ECMI publishes Islam and Religious Transformation in Adjara

by Thomas Liles, ECMI Working Paper #57

ECMI is pleased to announce publication of Islam and Religious Transformation in Adjara, by Thomas Liles, ECMI Working Paper #57. This working paper can be found here. The Autonomous Republic of Adjara, located in the southwest corner of Georgia along the Turkish border, has been the scene of a peculiar religious transformation in the last two decades. Specifically, large segments of Adjara's traditionally Muslim population have undergone a relatively quick rate of conversion to Christianity. Whereas the region's population was predominantly Muslim at the time of the Soviet Union's collapse, or at least nominally so after seven decades of official Soviet atheism, more recent figures indicate that Adjara's confessional makeup is approximately 65% Christian and 30% Muslim. Unlike Georgia's other Muslim groups in the Kvemo Kartli region and Pankisi, where Muslims are ethnic Azeris and Kists, respectively, Adjara's Muslims are ethnically Georgian.

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