(Photo by Radio Free Asia)
The Australian think tank has said in the report that more than 16 thousand mosques have been demolished in China. At the same time, China has denied this report.
- Last Updated:September 26, 2020, 11:41 AM IS
According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), some 16,000 mosques have been demolished or damaged. This report is based on satellite image and static modeling. The report says that most of the mosques have been vandalized in the last three years. According to an estimate, 8,500 mosques have been completely demolished. Most of the damage has been done to the outskirts of Urumqi and Kashgar. Many mosques that have not been completely demolished, their domes and minarets were toppled. About 15,500 mosques have survived, including the damaged one in Xinjiang. If true, this is the lowest number of Muslim worship in the region since the decade of national upheaval that arose from the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. In contrast, none of the churches and Buddhist temples that the think tank has included in the study have been harmed.
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The ASPI also said that a third of the Muslim holy sites, including dargahs, cemeteries and pilgrimage sites in Xinjiang, have been removed. Last year, an AFP investigation found that dozens of cemeteries had been uprooted, leaving human remains scattered on the ground. Meanwhile, China has claimed that citizens have complete religious freedom in Xinjiang province. When asked about this report, the Foreign Ministry of China said that the research institute has no credibility and this false report has been prepared against China. Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that there are 24 thousand mosques in this area. Earlier ASPI has said that it has unearthed a large network of detention centers in the province. This number is much higher than earlier estimates. Beijing has said that these camps are vocational training centers which are necessary to fight poverty and bigotry.