Claiming as many as 50,000 followers in Kyrgyzstan today, believers are fighting for state recognition. There is also a growing, albeit small, Tengrist movement in neighbouring Kazakhstan.
Kyrgyz authorities refuse to identify the Tengrist belief system as a religion. Though officials do not say so themselves, adherents believe that authorities worry, as the influence of Islam grows, recognition of another national religion could stoke tension and divide Kyrgyzstan’s predominantly Muslim population...
Tengrists ... pray to their ancestors, to the spirits of nature, and to Tengri, the eternal blue sky, to cleanse and empower them.