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KAZAKHSTAN. Sunni Islam of the Hanafi School was introduced to the territory of what is now Kazakhstan in the late eighteenth century on the order of Catherine the Great, with the intention of civilizing and pacifying the pastoral nomads with whom her expanding empire was coming into increasing conflict. Her missionaries of choice were Tatars from Kazan, who began to spread the faith among the northern and western Kazakhs; in the south, missionaries from the Khoqand Khanate voluntarily took the ...more

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