China protects normal needs of religions, customs: FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/7 21:58:40

China is striving to protect the normal religious needs and customs of its people while firmly fighting against extreme religious thoughts, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, in response to foreign media hype on the demolition of mosques in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

China is home to more than 20 million Muslims and 35,000 mosques, and the lawful religious needs and customs of religious believers are guaranteed, Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a Tuesday briefing. 

He made the remarks after some foreign media, including the Guardian, claimed Xinjiang has been "bulldozing" Muslim mosques. 

Geng said he never heard about the news. "Xinjiang is an open region and we hope that the involved media outlets could stop spreading gossip or hearsay," said Geng.

The foreign media reports said that "more than two dozen Islamic religious sites have been partly or completely demolished since 2016." 

Xinjiang is home to more than 25,000 religious venues, including 24,400 Muslim mosques, Chinese Ambassador to Turkey Deng Li said in February. The number of mosques in Xinjiang was 24,100 in 2015, according to the Chinese Islamic Association's website. 

The region has 13 million Muslims, 29,000 clerics and eight religious educational institutes. Islamic classics are published in different languages, Deng said. 

China resolutely fights extreme religious thoughts, and guarantees the normal needs and customs of religious believers in accordance with the law, Geng said.

Xinjiang is an open region. People who respect China can visit the region after going through necessary procedures, he said. 

From February 28 to March 2, senior diplomats from seven countries, including Singapore and Greece, visited the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region at the invitation of the regional government, following an earlier delegation of diplomats from 11 countries who visited the region in December 2018. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus