Staunton, Feb. 5 –Tengrianism is experiencing a radical revival among Russian-speaking urban elites in Kazakhstan and may now have as many as a million followers with some of them even suggesting that that ancient faith of the nomads become a state religion there, Ulyana Fatyanova says.
Tengrism, the animist faith of nomadic peoples within the Turkic world, has long attracted attention in part because its god does not set rules but rather talks about what will happen to an individual or his descendants if he violates the universal order. (For background on this faith in Kazakhstan, see Marlene Laruelle, “Religious Revival, Nationalism and ‘the Invention of Tradition,” Central Asian Survey 26:2 (2007: 203-216.)
But with the coming of Islam, the passing of nomadic society, and the urbanization of the population, Tengrism appeared to many to be primarily of historical interest. But Ulyana Fatyanova, a Kazakh journalist, argues that instead of fading away, Tengrism is experiencing a revival, albeit among unexpected groups (cabar.asia/ru/kak-v-kazahstane-zhivut-tengriantsy).