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Ayan Oryntay

Ayan Oryntay has a BA in Religious Studies from the Eurasian National University in Astana, Kazakhstan, and an MA in Religious Roots of Europe from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He is among the first religious studies scholars from Kazakhstan to hold a master’s degree from a European university. Ayan previously served as vice-chairman of the Congress of Religious Studies Scholars NGO in Kazakhstan and was a senior lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Eurasian National University. With experience working in various think- tanks in Kazakhstan, he has extensive experience in sociological research and fieldwork. Additionally, Ayan is a certified project manager. He currently works as project coordinator of the “Religious Freedom for Kazakhstan” project at the Kazakhstan office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Ayan’s research interests are in violent extremism, religious freedom in Central Asia, and state and religion.