Islam in Romania
Islam in Romania is followed by only 0.3 percent of population, but has 700 years of tradition in Northern Dobruja, a region on the Black Sea coast which was part of the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries (ca. 1420-1878). In present-day Romania, most adherents to Islam belong to the Tatar and Turkish ethnic communities and follow the Sunni doctrine. The Islamic religion is one of the 16 rites awarded state recognition.According to tradition, Islam was first established locally around Sufi leader Sari Saltik during the Byzantine epoch. The Islamic presence in Northern Dobruja was expanded by Ottoman overseeing and successive immigration, but has been in steady decline since the late 19th century. In Wallachia and Moldavia, the two Danubian Principalities, the era of Ottoman suzerainty was not accompanied by a growth in the number of Muslims, whose presence there was always marginal. Also linked to the Ottoman Empire, groups of Islamic colonists in other parts of present-day Romania were relocated by the Habsburg expansion or by various other political changes.After Northern Dobruja became part of Romania following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the community preserved its self-determining status. This changed during the communist regime, when Romanian Muslims were subject to a measure of supervision by the state, but the group again emancipated itself after the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Its interests are represented by the Muftiyat (Muftiyatul Cultului Musulman din România), which was created as the reunion of two separate such institutions.