The Grand Mosque in Weizhou, China is brand-new — it was just finished last year — but despite this, Chinese officials are threatening to alter the structure — or worse.
Last week, thousands of members of China’s Hui Muslim minority gathered at the Weizhou mosque (located in northwestern China) to protest the government’s plan to either demolish the building or alter the minarets and domes (a traditional Middle Eastern style) to something more traditional Chinese. Ultimately, activism won out and local officials relented and said they would hold off on the mosque’s demolition.
Hu resident Ma Sengming, 72, told AP that people are in a lot of pain. “We can’t understand why this is happening… The protest comes as faith groups that were largely tolerated in the past have seen their freedoms shrink… Islamic crescents and domes have been stripped from mosques, Christian churches have been shut down and Bibles seized, and Tibetan children have been moved from Buddhist temples to schools.”