As throughout the years Cyprus has been home to many communities each of which had its own religion and belief system, the island enjoys today religious diversity.
Christianity is the most prominent religion in the country as most Greek Cypriots identify as Christian Orthodox, while Armenians, Maronites, Latins, and other foreigners belong to the Armenian Church in Cyprus, Maronite, Roman Catholic, and Protestant church.
Islam is the second most common religion in Cyprus as the Turkish Cypriot community is predominantly Muslim as well as a big part of the migrant population that has been living in the country for many years.
Hinduism, Judaism, and other religions are also present within the migrant community.
There are countless churches, monasteries, and mosques throughout the country, in cities, villages or hidden in the mountains many of which are of archaeological value. Some examples include:
Painted Churches in the Troodos Region
Among the many churches and monasteries that can be found in the Troodos Mountains, a group of 10 churches from the Byzantine era is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. These churches have painted murals providing an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. The architecture of these churches is unique, confined to the Troodos range, and almost certainly of indigenous origin while the many dated inscriptions, an uncommon feature in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Middle Ages, make them particularly important for recording the chronology of Byzantine painting. The ten churches are:
- Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis (St. Nicholas of the Roof), Kakopetria;
- Ayios Ioannis (St. John) Lambadhistis Monastery, Kalopanayiotis;
- Panayia (The Virgin) Phorviotissa (Asinou), Nikitari;
- Panayia (The Virgin) tou Arakou, Lagoudhera;
- Panayia (The Virgin), Moutoullas;
- Archangelos Michael (Archangel Michael),
- Pedhoulas; Timios Stavros (Holy Cross), Pelendria;
- Panayia (The Virgin) Podhithou, Galata;
- Stavros (Holy Cross) Ayiasmati, Platanistasa,
- Church of Ayia Sotira (Transfiguration of the Savior), Palaichori.
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This mosque is one of the oldest and most important mosques of Cyprus. In the 14th century it used to be an Augustinian Church which was damaged during the Venitian-Ottoman war and in 1571 upon the conquest of the city by the Ottomans, it was reformed into a mosque. It is still in use and it is an important place of worship for many Muslims who reside in Nicosia.
Hala Sultan Tekke
Hala Sultan Tekke is a mosque and a Tekke situated at the banks of Larnaca Salt Lake. It is dedicated to Umm Haram, (Hala Sultan) a close companion of the prophet Mohammed who according to the legend fell off her horse and died there when she visited the island during the Arab raids. Inside the building, there is a tomb that is said to belong to her although the tekke was built in the late 18th century. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the Muslim world.
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