There is no official religion in Kazakhstan. The country's constitution keeps church and state separate. Many people in Kazakhstan identify themselves as either Muslims or Russian Orthodox Christians. 

Kazakhstani Muslims are part of the Sunni branch of Islam. But early Kazakhs lived on the edge of the Muslim world and their forms of worship are less orthodox than those of most other Muslims. During Soviet rule, the faith was suppressed. Some customs forbidden by Islam, such as drinking alcohol and smoking, became common. Now many people feel that they are part of the Muslim tradition but choose not to follow all the rules of the faith.

The essential practices of Muslims are known as the Five Pillars of Islam. Devout Muslims are expected to acknowledge that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet; pray five times a day; give alms to the poor; fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan; and make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. Some Kazakhstani Muslims follow these practices and some do not.
  Did you know?
Some Muslims end a meal with a prayerful gesture called the amin. They bring cupped hands together and briefly cover their faces, moving their fingers downward.
Many Kazakhstanis of Russian background are Russian Orthodox Christians. During the Soviet era, many churches were closed or destroyed. Some priests were shot or imprisoned. After the Soviet Union dissolved, the church experienced a revival. There is a renewed interest in spirituality and more people attend church services. Orthodox services are elaborate and often long. People stand for the entire service. Singing in Orthodox churches is unaccompanied, as Orthodox Christians feel that only the human voice can properly glorify God.
  Did you know?
Zenkov Cathedral in Almaty is one of the world's tallest wooden buildings. It was built in 1904 without the use of nails. The cathedral withstood the 1910 earthquake that destroyed much of the rest of the city. It served as a concert hall during the Soviet era, but is now used for Orthodox church services.