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Opinions & Interviews

11 Nov 2016

Opening of new mosque in Minsk viewed as historic event for people of Belarus

Opening of new mosque in Minsk viewed as historic event for people of Belarus

MINSK, 11 November (BelTA) – The opening of the new mosque is a historic event for the Muslims of the country and the people of Belarus in general, Chairman of the Muslim Religious Community in Belarus Mufti Abu-Bekir Shabanovich said at the opening of the mosque in Minsk on 11 November, BelTA has learned.

Abu-Bekir Shabanovich said that he was a witness to a historic event and added that it was hard for him to find words to describe his happiness. The Chairman of the Muslim Religious Community in Belarus noted that the event is important not just for the Muslims living in the country, but also for all peace-loving people of Belarus. The Tatars have been living in Belarus since long ago, Abu-Bekir Shabanovich pointed out. “They live in peace and accord here,” he added.

Abu-Bekir Shabanovich said that the mosque will contribute to the strengthening of the good neighborly relations between people of different ethnic background and culture.

He emphasized that Belarus pays much attention to the development of culture and promotion of moral and spiritual values, along with the effort to consolidate its sovereignty, develop the national idea, improve the well-being of Belarusians, and guarantee the protection of life and freedom. Abu-Bekir Shabanovich noted that mosques and temples of other religions unite people of different ethnic and religious background in Belarus. “We are proud of the peace-loving policy that the country has been pursuing,” he said.

For his part, Mehmet Gormez, President of the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey, thanked for the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony and noted that the mosque may become a symbol of peace in the contemporary history of Belarus.

The mosque ground-breaking ceremony took place in 1997. The construction had several interruptions and was finally completed in 2016. The final stage of the construction project was financed by Turkey.

The mosque can accommodate over 1,500 people for Friday congregational prayer. It is decorated with a large chandelier hanging under the dome which is surfaced with special copper made in Germany. Below the prayer hall, there is a hall for press conferences and educational programs. The hall seats 250 people. It will host lectures and movie screenings for men, women and children.

The infrastructure is located on the ground (first) floor. It includes two restrooms, places for pre-prayer ablutions for men and women, administrative offices, a library for public use, and a meeting/study room.

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