Art And Culture

Upsurge in China’s Xinjiang Mosques

Upsurge in China’s Xinjiang MosquesUpsurge in China’s Xinjiang Mosques

The number of mosques constructed in the Muslim province of Xinjiang - an autonomous province in far northwestern China - has increased tenfold in the last three decades, indicating the country’s reverence towards religious freedom, said a spokesperson for the annual session of China’s top political advisory body.

Following the construction of more than 20,000 mosques, the number of Islamic clergies exceeds 28,000 from 3,000 thirty years ago, Lü Xinhua told a press conference in the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, IRNA reported.

“The Xinjiang regional government has sent 4,000 clergies to Egypt and Pakistan to learn religious teachings at Islamic institutions,” he said, adding that over 1 million copies of religious books and magazines in Uyghur and other languages have been published in Xinjiang.

The autonomous province of Xinjiang, with Urumqi as its capital, is located in the economic region of the Silk Road. It is the largest Chinese administrative division, the 8th largest country subdivision in the world, and the most populous amongst the ten largest national subdivisions.  It is mostly inhabited by Muslims and Uyghur is its main ethnic group (around 43%) whose language is close to Turkish.

In January, Beijing officials announced they intend to turn the region into an international transit center with the aim of boosting economy and tourism of Xinjiang.

 The economy of the region would receive an impetus following 72-hour visa exemption to attract more tourists and clearance in the shortest time possible at the Urumqi airport.