Courtesy: Abida Rehman, UK, the Muslim Times’ Editor for Women Rights
Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas are in Russia for the opening of the new Moscow Cathedral Mosque.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft are also attending the opening ceremony.
Erdogan — who gave a speech during the ceremony — is due to meet with Putin during his visit to Moscow.
The new mosque was built on the site of the historical Moscow Cathedral Mosque, built in 1904 and controversially torn down in 2011.
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The new, six-story mosque will be able to accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers and is the third-largest mosque in Russia after the Grand Mosque in Makhachkala and the Akhmed Kadyrov Mosque in Grozny.
The Moscow Cathedral Mosque’s opening ceremony will occur on the eve of the Eid al-Adha festival, known in Russia as Kurban Bairam.
Islam is the second-largest religion in Russia with an estimated 15 to 23 million followers.
Muslims are a majority in the Russian regions of Adygea, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Daghestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachai-Cherkessia.