The Mostar Bridge
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Is Bosnia a Muslim Country: What is the Main Religion?

Are you interested in Bosnia and wondering is Bosnia a Muslim country?

To me, Bosnia is a very special place with a lot of different cultures, ethnicities, and religions. I have witnessed this myself as I have lived for a year in Sarajevo. When people think of Bosnia, one of the first things they often ask is, is Bosnia a Muslim country?

And although this might seem like an easy question, the answer to this question is a bit more complicated as Bosnia is a very diverse country!

So, let’s look more closely at how religion shaped, and still shapes this beautiful Balkan country.

What is Bosnian main religion?

Bosnia has a long history and many kinds of people. Bosnia’s mix of religions is one of the things that makes it really stand out in Europe. Islam is the main religion and the one that most people in Bosnia follow.

Many Bosnians are called Muslims because of this. But there’s more. Bosnia is also home to a lot of Christians. There are two main groups of Christians: those who go to Catholic churches and those who go to Orthodox churches.

is Bosnia a Muslim country - Mosque in Sarajevo
Mosque in Sarajevo

So, there are Muslims, Catholic Christians, and Orthodox Christians all living in the same country. It’s like a big pot of soup with lots of different ingredients! Every person has their own way of praying, celebrating holidays, and sometimes even dressing.

All of them have their own traditions and customs. But even though they are all different, they all call Bosnia their home. Bosnia is a very interesting place because of how many different people live there and what they believe in.

What are Bosnian Muslims called?

There is a large group of Muslims among Bosnians, just like there are Muslims in many other places around the world. In Bosnia, people call these Muslims by a special name, Bosniaks.

This name is special to them and shows both what they believe and who they are as people from Bosnia. It’s not just about what they think regarding religion, it’s also about who they are as a group and their history in Bosnia.

Mosque and Minaret in Sarajevo
Mosque and Minaret in Sarajevo

Over time, the word Bosniak has become a way for these people to say, I am from Bosnia, and I am also Muslim. So, when people talk about Bosniaks, they are talking about Muslims who have lived in Bosnia for a long time and have deep roots there.

You could say that it’s a definition full of history, traditions, and a deeply rooted culture in Bosnia.

What is the difference between Bosnians and Bosniaks?

To follow up on the previous topic, Bosnians are simply people who are from Bosnia, no matter what religion or ethnic group they belong to.

It’s just to give you information in a geographical way. Bosniaks, on the other hand, are a group of people who are mostly Muslims.

This difference is important when talking about how different the people of Bosnia are and to understand the differences in this country.

What do Bosnian Muslims speak?

Bosnia’s language is a beautiful mix of different styles with different influences. I have studied Bosnian for over a year and I really enjoyed doing this! But Bosnian Muslims, who are called Bosniaks, speak Bosnian most of the time.

This language, along with Croatian and Serbian, is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Bosnian language on signs
Bosnian language on signs

Even though the three languages are related in some ways, they have different words, phrases, and pronunciations that come from their own cultures. In Serbian language, for example, they both use the Latin and Cyrillic script.

Is Bosnia a Muslim country: FAQs

The information below is related to the topic of is Bosnia a Muslim country and will give you some more great insights!

What religion were Bosnians before Islam?

I would like to take you on a trip back in time. People in Bosnia didn’t think the same things before Islam arrived. Before Islam, the majority of Bosnians were Christians.

People in Bosnia went to churches, listened to priests, and enjoyed Christian holidays, just like people in many other parts of Europe. But Christianity wasn’t just one thing.

Some Bosnians were Orthodox Christians and had their own churches and ways to celebrate. Others were Catholic Christians, but their churches and practises were different. To simplify this, it was like having two different flavors of the same ice cream.

is Bosnia a Muslim country - Catholic Church in Sarajevo
Catholic Church in Sarajevo

So, imagine a time in Bosnia when church bells rang often and Christians enjoyed Christian holidays like Easter in different ways. Then, as time went on and travelers and traders arrived, Islam was brought to Bosnia, and many people began to follow it.

But the old buildings, stories, and traditions of Bosnia still remind people of a time before Islam, when the country was full of churches and Christian celebrations.

Do Bosnians fast for Ramadan?

Yes, during Ramadan, a lot of Bosnians do fast (all my Bosnians friends are fasting). Bosnia’s Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan just like Muslims everywhere else in the world.

Following the usual practise of fasting, they don’t eat or drink from dawn until sunset during Ramadan. During this time of fasting, people are encouraged to think about their faith, show more devotion, and pray.

In addition to fasting, many Bosniaks engage in prayers at night to pray and read from the Quran. This is called Tarawih.

And Eid al-Fitr is a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. It is a time for special prayers, huge feasts, giving to those who are less wealthy, and spending time with family and friends.

Some people may follow all the Ramadan traditions strictly to the letter, while others may not be so strict. But no matter what, Ramadan is an important part of many Bosnians’ hearts and lives.

Do Bosnians eat pork?

I must say that Bosnia’s eating habits are as different as its people. Due to the large number of Muslims in Bosnia, many people follow Islamic food rules, which include not eating pork.

But Bosnia’s Christian groups don’t have these rules, and pork may be used in many traditional Bosnian dishes.

Whether or not a person eats pork mostly comes down to their personal and religious beliefs.

Do Bosnians drink alcohol?

Bosnia has a complicated history with drinking. Many Bosnian Muslims don’t drink alcohol because it’s against their religion.

But Bosnia’s long history of making wine and beer shows that its people value the art of making alcoholic drinks. From what I know, most people in Bosnia drink alcohol, whether they do it secretly or in public.

And did you know that there are a lot of vineyards and wineries in Bosnia? Many Bosnians, no matter what religion they follow, might enjoy a glass every now and then.

What is the biggest Muslim city in Bosnia after Sarajevo?

Tuzla is a well-known city in Bosnia that has a large number of Muslims. After Sarajevo, the city of Tuzla is a center of culture and history that shows how the stories of different religious groups in Bosnia are intertwined.

View on Tuzla
View on Tuzla

Its mosques, historical sites, and busy streets all tell stories about a city that has seen empires come and go and cultures change. Tuzla is a nice city to visit with your family as it has great attractions for kids. It also has a great airport as an alternative to Sarajevo.

How many mosques does Bosnia have?

Because of its history with the Ottoman Empire and its large Bosniak (Muslim) people, Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to a large number of mosques. As a result, Bosnia and Herzegovina had more than 1,000 mosques.

A lot of these mosques were built when the Ottomans were in charge, which was for several hundred years. Some of these mosques have designs and styles that show the strong Ottoman impact. This makes them important cultural and historical landmarks.

Is Bosnian a muslim country - Mosque in Mostar
Mosque in Mostar

During the Bosnian War in the 1990s, a lot of mosques, churches, and other places of cultural significance were damaged or destroyed. Many of these church buildings have been rebuilt or fixed up in the years since the war.

The famous bridge in Mostar was also part of the destruction during the war.

Is Bosnia safe for Muslims?

Yes, Muslims are safe in Bosnia. Bosnia has a large number of Muslims, and the country is used to having people of different religions. Cities in Bosnia like Sarajevo have a lot of Islamic history and culture.

There are many mosques and other Islamic landmarks in these towns. Most of the time, Muslims in Bosnia can practise their religion easily and without any major problems.

But, just like when you go to any other country, it’s smart to know the local rules, norms, and political situations. Bosnia is safe for Muslims, but because of its troubled past of war, there can be tensions between people of different races and religions.

Most of these problems, on the other hand, have to do with politics and not with how people act in their everyday lives. It’s always a good idea for you to learn about current events, respect local customs, and take other standard safety measures.

But in general, Muslims who come or live in Bosnia should feel safe and at ease. If you want to know more about this, check out my post about safety in Sarajevo.

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    The Wrap-Up: Is Bosnia a Muslim Country?

    So, is Bosnia is a Muslim country? Bosnia is a mix of different faiths, cultures, and times in history. Even though a large number of its people are Muslim and Islam is the main religion, it wouldn’t be fair to call it just a Muslim country on its own.

    It is a country where people with different religions, customs, and stories live together.

    This makes for a rich and colorful mix that is only found in the Balkans. If you’re planning a trip to Sarajevo, check out my post about 15 great things to do in Sarajevo!

    And if you would like to visit the town of Srebrenica, check out my post about the Srebrenica Memorial.

    Your restless voyager,

    Dustin

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