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Religion in Daily Life

In the 70 years of Soviet rule, the focus of religious activity shifted from the mosque to the home. Although Islam is an integral part of their cultural heritage, few Turkmen are fully aware of the elements of their faith. Some are even atheists who support religious revival only as a part of national revival. The impressive mosques that have been built since independence have come about through government endowments and not through the financing of local worshippers.

Most Turkmen do not regularly attend prayer services at mosques. The faithful perform the five pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith (shahada), prayer five times daily (salat), charity(zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm), and pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca (hajj).