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Bosnia-Herzegovina, located on the Balkan peninsula in Eastern Europe, is a republic of the former Yugoslavia.
Islam was the official religion, though non-Muslim faiths were allowed.
Indeed, in the Ottoman era many Jews came from Spain, where they faced persecution or death at the hands of the Catholic Inquisition, to find a tolerant home in Bosnia.
The population includes Catholic Bosnian Croats (17 percent); Eastern Orthodox Bosnian Serbs (31 percent); and Bosnian Muslims (44 percent), whose ancestors converted from Christianity centuries ago.
Some historians have pointed out that the residents of Bosnia are ethnically much the same and have chosen to identify as Croats or Serbs primarily for religious and political reasons.
It is a country of exceptional natural beauty, with dramatic mountains and turquoise rivers, green wooded hills, bare limestone landscapes and fertile agricultural tracts.
Bosnia maintains high literacy, life expectancy, and educational levels and is one of the most frequently visited countries in the region.
Bosnia's Muslim Slavs were urged to register themselves as Serbs or Croats.It prospered and expanded under three especially powerful rulers: Ban Kulin, who reigned from 1180 to 1204; Ban Stephen Kotromanic, who ruled from 1322 to 1353; and King Stephen Tvrtko, who reigned from 1353 to 1391.After Tvrtko's death, internal struggles weakened the nation.From 1992 until 1995, Bosnian Serbs waged a war against non-Serbs.The war ended with the Dayton Peace Accord, which recognizes Bosnia-Herzegovina as a single state that is partitioned, with a Muslim-Croat federation given 51 percent of the area and a Serbian republic given 49 percent.