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Popular Sufism of Eastern Europe examines aspects of popular Sufism among selected societies in Eastern Europe, past and present. Muslims - whether they are descended from Asian invaders (Cumans, Turks and Tatars), or are converted Slavs (Bonjaks and Pomaks) or Illyrians (Albanians) - have left a deep mark on the popular culture of Eastern Europe. They too have been influenced by Christianity and by pre-Christian religions. Many have sustained contact with fellow believers in the Muslim heartland of the Middle East, especially through the annual Meccan pilgrimage. Sufi life in Eastern Europe derives its strength from a number of sources including the Volga, the Southern steppes of Russia and the Balkan countries, where Islam is either the prevailing religion (as in Albania or Kosovo), or is of major significance (as in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Bosnia). Sufism, at every level and in every form amongst these Muslim peoples, is discussed.
Published: 9th October 2006