The North Caucasus, although geographically within Europe, feels quite different from the rest of the continent. Bordered by the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasian Mountains, it consists of several republics within the Russian Federation including Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. The region is perhaps most famous for its wars with Russia, as a breeding ground for terrorism and its volatility. It is less well known for the practice of Sufism – an interpretation of Islam followed by the majority of the population in Chechnya and Ingushetia and a large minority of Dagestan. You can read more about this here and the Kists in neighbouring Georgia here.